Essex County Prosecutor Paula T. Dow announced that a Monmouth County man has pleaded guilty to setting his vehicle on fire in an attempt to defraud his insurance company.
Brian Raheb, 49, of Holmdel pleaded guilty on Friday in Superior Court to third-degree insurance fraud. As part of the plea agreement, Raheb will serve 90 days in county jail and will be required to pay restitution of approximately $15,000. Essex County Superior Court Judge Michael Ravin scheduled sentencing for February 26.
According to Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Morris, July 9, 2008, a vehicle fire was reported at the intersection of Chester and Riverside Avenues in Newark. Detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Task Force determined the fire was intentionally set. On July 10, 2008, the defendant reported his 2003 Cadillac Escalade stolen from his driveway at 8 Princess Court in Holmdel. Detectives developed information that Raheb had unsuccessfully tried to sell the vehicle for two months. Soon thereafter, detectives linked him to the crime.
Prosecutor Dow commended Detective Marlin Bullock of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Arson Task Force for the investigation.
In 2002, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Task Force initiated an automobile insurance-related arson initiative to combat an increase in car fires. This unit specializes in detecting and prosecuting those responsible for vehicle arsons.