Insurance Fraud Comes with Hefty Penalty...Even for Local Celebrities

Former Lite Rock 105 radio personality, Tanya Cruise, plead guilty to insurance fraud recently, along with several other individuals who assisted her with the scheme.

Tanya Cruise from Lite Rock 105Cruise, whose real name is Lori Sergiacomi, received some pretty bad advice after her Rhode Island home was heavily damaged by the historic flooding of spring 2010. Sergiacomi did not have flood insurance on her home, but ex-insurance adjuster, Vincent DiPaolo, and former North Providence Councilman John Zambarano, 48, advised her not to file a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Instead, they suggested that Sergiacomi hire DiPaolo as her insurance adjuster and work with him to make it appear as though her home were damaged by a severe wind storm. Obviously, the severe wind storm never occurred, but damage caused by such a storm would be covered by Sergiacomi's insurance.

The claim that was filed stated that the wind storm occurred on April 5, 2010, a day when the National Weather Service reported fair and pleasant weather with temperatures in the 70s.

Sergiacomi's insurance company paid her over $40,000.

The scheme was later discovered during an investigation of Councilman Zambarano, who was believed to be involved in a separate case of bribery and extortion along with two other councilmen. Wiretaps captured Zambarano boasting about the schemes he orchestrated, according to prosecutors.

Zambarano and Sergiacomi have already pleaded guilty to the insurance fraud scheme. Zambarano was sentenced in May to nearly six years in prison. Sergiacomi and Ricci are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 25.

DiPaolo must pay more than $40,000 in restitution as part of his guilty plea and faces sentencing on Oct. 27. The ex-insurance adjuster could get up to 85 years in prison, $1.25 million in fines and 15 years of supervised release.

Moral of the story: make sure you have adequate protection for your property.