Prosecutor: Duo busted for setting car on fire to collect insurance in Jersey City

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Two men were busted for setting a car on fire in Jersey City to collect the insurance proceeds, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced. 

Charlie Serrano and Harvey Nuila. Photos courtesy of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

On November 13, 2016, shortly after 1:20 a.m., a Jersey City police officer observed a fully-engulfed vehicle fire in the area of Monmouth and 12th Streets, Suarez said in a statement.

First responders were able to quickly extinguish the vehicle fire and a subsequent investigation was conducted by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit and the Jersey City Fire Department’s Arson Unit.

During the investigation, the vehicle was identified as a 2013 Audi Sedan owned by Harvey
Nuila, 43, of East Rutherford. Further investigation revealed that Nuila paid Charlie Serrano, 28, of Linden, to set his vehicle on fire so that he could collect insurance proceeds, authorities said.

Nuila subsequently filed false claims with his insurance company for the benefit of those proceeds.

On February 1, 2018, following a lengthy investigation, Nuila surrendered to members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit at the county administration building in Jersey City while accompanied by his attorney, officials said.

He was arrested without incident and was charged with committing five or more acts of insurance fraud. Nuila made his first appearance on these charges in Central Judicial Processing Court on February 6, 2018.

Finally, on April 24th, Serrano surrendered to members of the Insurance Fraud Unit at the Hudson County Administration Building while accompanied by his attorney, police said.

He was arrested without incident and charged with arson for hire and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud. Serrano was scheduled to make his first appearance on these charges in
Central Judicial Processing Court on Friday.

Suarez credited members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Insurance Fraud Unit
with the investigation and the Jersey City Fire Department’s Arson Unit for their assistance in the investigation.