A Pleasantville Police officer has been charged with eight charges, including healthcare insurance fraud and theft, announced Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner.
Authorities charged Juan Forero, 34, of Pleasantville, with the following:
* Third-degree Theft by Unlawful Taking, namely an iPhone 7 Plus
* Two counts of third-degree Theft by Deception
* Fourth-degree Unsworn Falsification to Authorities
* Third-degree Insurance Fraud
* Two counts of second-degree Healthcare Claims Fraud
* Second-degree Theft by Deception
According to officials, Forero was placed on administrative leave from the Pleasantville Police Department during the investigation and is suspended without pay following criminal charges.
Detectives from the Somers Point Police Department on April 26th were called to investigate the reported theft of an Apple iPhone 7 Plus from the Somers Point Shop Rite. A review of surveillance video showed a male, later identified as Juan Forero take the phone from a shopping cart. He was accompanied by a female later identified as Haydee Forero.
Police subsequently identified Juan Forero as a Pleasantville Police officer. At that point, the Internal Affairs Section of the Pleasantville Police Department and the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Official Corruption Unit joined the investigation.
During their investigation, they discovered that Juan Forero and Haydee Forero were married in 2006 but that they had divorced in 2011.
However, when Forero became an officer in the Pleasantville Police Department in January 2015 and applied through the City of Pleasantville for health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield, he certified in writing that he was married to Haydee Forero and provided their 2006 marriage certificate as proof.
Haydee subsequently became a beneficiary under the plan. From 2015 to 2017 Blue Cross Blue Shield paid more than $90,0000 toward Haydee’s health care which would have cost approximately $320,000 out of pocket.
During the same period, the City of Pleasantville incurred an additional expense of approximately $21,000 premium payments to cover her.
Through further investigation, it was learned that Juan Forero engaged in similar behavior while employed by AtlantiCare before becoming a Pleasantville Police Officer. During that period, AtlantiCare incurred approximately $4,000 in costs associated with coverage for her.
“While I am saddened to confirm that one of our officers has been charged with criminal conduct, I am also reassured to report that the internal affairs process has worked as intended and in solid coordination between our Pleasantville Police investigators and Prosecutor Tyner’s investigators. I am confident in the findings of the investigation, and we will move to separate the officer accordingly.
The Pleasantville Police Department cannot and will not accept unethical conduct by our officers and will take swift action to investigate all claims of misconduct by members of the Pleasantville Police Department,” said Pleasantville Police Chief Sean Riggin.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at http://www.acpo.org/tips.html and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page.
These charges are merely an accusation and not proof of guilt. In all criminal cases, a charged defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.