Three people, including two Toms River residents, have been accused of a scheme that also involved a Brick auto shop, to illegally obtain FEMA benefits in the wake of Hurricane Irene in 2011.
Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato on Friday announced charges against Giacomo Tuminaro, 28, of Washington Township; Heather Scoville, 29, of Southampton Road in Toms River; and Michael Frunzi, 44, of Lloyd Road in Toms River.
The charges stem from an investigation into an alleged fraudulent claim for FEMA benefits involving Tuminaro's 2003 Nissan Altima, prosecutors said. Tuminaro said his car was damaged during the storm, and supported his claim by having the vehicle inspected by his friend, Michael Frunzi of “J & F Auto Service” in Brick, authorities said.
Frunzi allegedly fraudulently confirmed the damage to the vehicle and purchased it from Tuminaro for $350. Then, FEMA paid out on the claim by processing two checks in the name of Scoville, who was listed as the primary applicant on the claim forms. Tuminaro was the co-applicant.
Scoville, prosecutors say, cashed those checks at a check cashing facility in Toms River and, shortly thereafter, Tuminaro sold the same 2003 Nissan Altma back to “My Car Corporation” located in Lakewood.
“My Car Corporation” had allegedly sold the vehicle to Tuminaro in May of 2011, then Tuminaro sold it back to them in September of 2011. Photographs of the vehicle were obtained from “My Car Corporation” which show that the vehicle had not suffered the damage for which the claim was paid, authorities charge.
Tuminaro was arrested without incident at 101 Bowerstown Rd. in Washington, and had been lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of $35,000 bail with an option to post 10 percent. He was charged with third degree theft by deception, third degree conspiracy and fourth degree tampering with public records. Jail records showed he was no longer an inmate there Friday.
Scoville was arrested without incident at the Desert Palm Motel, located on North Ocean Avenue in Seaside Heights. She was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of bail set at $35,000 with an option to post 10 percent. She has been charged with third degree theft by deception.
Michael Frunzi was arrested without incident at 588 Inkeeper Lane, Toms River, and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he was lodged in default of bail set at $35,000 with an option to post 10 percent. He was charged with third degree theft by deception, third degree conspiracy and fourth degree tampering with public records. Jail records showed he was no longer an inmate there Friday.