TRENTON – A Newark police officer pleaded guilty today to falsely reporting to police that his vehicle had been stolen and fraudulently collecting $10,791 from the company that insured the vehicle, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced.
Suliaman Kamara, 31, of Newark, a former Newark police officer, pleaded guilty to third-degree theft by deception before Superior Court Judge Julie Marino in Somerset County. Under the plea agreement, he faces a sentence of up to 364 days in the county jail. He forfeited his job as a Newark police officer and is permanently barred from employment as a law enforcement officer. He also must pay full restitution. Marino scheduled sentencing for Kamara for Aug. 23.
Deputy Attorney General Veronica Allende took the guilty plea for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau. Sgt. Lisa King led the investigation for the State Police Official Corruption North Unit. Senior Special Investigator Charles Citera of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s Special Investigative Unit provided valuable assistance in the investigation.
Kamara filed a report with the Newark Police Department on Feb. 23, 2009, falsely stating that his 2003 GMC Yukon had been stolen. He subsequently filed a claim for the purported theft with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, which paid him a total of $10,791, including $9,744 for the vehicle, $477 for property he reported stolen inside the vehicle, and $570 for a rental car. Nearly three years later, a representative of Liberty Mutual spotted the vehicle outside Kamara’s residence and alerted authorities. The State Police located the 2003 GMC Yukon, bearing a license plate from another vehicle, parked outside of Kamara’s residence on March 14, 2012, and executed a search warrant, confirming that it was the vehicle he reported stolen.
Kamara was a Newark Police Officer at the time he filed the false police report and insurance claim.
The sentence in this case will run concurrently with a federal sentence Kamara faces in connection with his May 8 guilty plea to a charge that he conspired with a woman to fraudulently obtain more than $60,000 in benefits under the federal Section 8 public housing assistance program. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 12 on that charge, and faces up to five years in federal prison.
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