Maryland and California Siblings Indicted for Dependency Benefits Insurance Fraud from NJM

December 6, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson today announced that two siblings were indicted on insurance fraud charges for allegedly submitting several forged and falsified proof of college enrollment letters in order to secure continued dependency benefits from New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group (NJM). NJM is headquartered in the West Trenton section of Ewing Township, New Jersey.

Paola Saray Portillo (also known as Paola Saray Reyes), 26, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was indicted on second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree theft by deception, five counts of fourth-degree forgery, and five counts of fourth-degree falsifying and tampering with records.

Paola Saray and her brother, Larry Ulisses Portillo (also known as Larry Ulisses Portillo Quinoñez), 25, of Long Beach, California, were both indicted on third-degree conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, third-degree insurance fraud, fourth-degree forgery, and fourth-degree falsifying or tampering with records.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury on December 3, 2021.

The grand jury indictment alleges that between December, 2016 and September, 2018 the siblings submitted six forged and falsified proof of enrollment letters from Long Beach City College in order to secure continued dependency benefits from NJM to which neither were entitled. Since both Paola and Larry were no longer attending any college full-time, nor were they attending Long Beach City College, neither were entitled to any dependency benefits.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, and third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Deputy Attorney General Leslie-Ann Justus presented the case to the grand jury for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor under the supervision of Private Insurance Bureau Chief DAG Cheryl Maccaroni, Assistant Bureau Chief DAG Crystal Callahan, and Deputy Insurance Fraud Prosecutor AAG Al Garcia. Detective Kirstie Krupa and Lt. Anne Hayes coordinated the investigation with assistance from CLASS Analyst Marwa Kashef.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the website at State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.