Acting Attorney General Robert Lougy and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced today that a woman was charged with stealing nearly $29,000 in insurance money from a Somerset County widow who hired her to repair roof damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Dorian Leigh Dammer, 56, whose last known address was in Easton, Pennsylvania, was indicted on second-degree charges of theft by deception and impersonation for pretending to be a representative of a Paramus construction company and accepting money for roof repairs that were never made.
According to prosecutors, in October 2013 the homeowner, a widowed, retired medical doctor, was looking for someone to repair the roof on her home in Bridgewater, which had been damaged when a tree fell on it during Superstorm Sandy. The homeowner had filed a claim with Franklin Mutual Insurance Company (FMI), which allocated $37,128 to pay for the repairs. An acquaintance gave the homeowner the name “Dorian Grey,” a woman who purportedly represented Vanguard Construction company. In reality, “Dorian Grey” was Dorian Dammer, a former employee of Vanguard Construction who had been fired a month earlier for stealing from the company, prosecutors said.
Dammer met with the homeowner to assess the roof damage and quoted a price of $35,422 for Vanguard Construction to do the repair, according to prosecutors. Dammer allegedly told the homeowner she herself was a medical doctor who worked with Vanguard Construction as a side business. Dammer allegedly told the homeowner to make out checks for the repair work to “Dr. Dorian Leigh.”
Dammer cashed three checks from the homeowner totaling $28,770, but never had the repairs done, prosecutors said. When the homeowner complained about the work not being done, Dammer allegedly made excuses, blaming foul weather and sick family members for the delay. Dammer also told the homeowner that the repair job would cost more money than originally quoted and instructed the woman to go back to her insurance company for more money, prosecutors said.
When FMI sent an investigator out to look into the situation, the homeowner attempted to contact Dammer, who allegedly dodged the calls. The repairs were never made, prosecutors said.
Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Iu noted that some important 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 Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. 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.