A West New York couple was busted for falsely claiming a trip, which they were reimbursed for, was cancelled due to husband’s active military duty – despite not being in the service since 1998 – authorities said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
David Lutchmidat, 56, and Yvonne Sanichar, 50, of West New York surrendered to
members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit while accompanied by their attorneys on Friday, Prosecutor Esther Suarez said in a statement.
They were arrested without incident following an investigation into an allegation that they conspired to commit insurance fraud by providing fraudulent information in order to obtain a trip insurance reimbursement.
An investigation by members of the Public Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit revealed that
Lutchmidat and Sanichar attempted to obtain full reimbursement for airfare and hotel costs from a trip insurance policy which they purchased in September 2018 by submitting a forged active military duty authorization as the reason for the cancellation of their trip.
The couple also requested and obtained full reimbursement for their airfare from the airline by claiming active military duty as the reason for the cancellation.
Further investigation revealed that Lutchmidat had not been on active military duty since 1998 and that the alleged person who signed Lutchmidat’s active duty authorization was an Air Force Colonel who has been retired since 2005.
Lutchmidat was arrested on a summons complaint charging him with insurance fraud, forgery, and theft by deception – all third-degree crimes – authorities said.
Meanwhile, Sanichar was charged with insurance fraud and theft by deception
Following the arrests, the defendants were released on their own recognizance. They are
scheduled to make a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court at 1:00 p.m. on
Suarez credited members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Public
Integrity/Insurance Fraud Unit with the investigation and arrest.