It can sometimes be easy to think that you are above the law or that a lie told often enough becomes truth. That is not the case for one executive of a New Jersey roofing company who was recently jailed for supplying false and misleading information to insurance providers.
Charles Kelcy Pegler has been charged with third degree insurance fraud for falsifying information to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums to New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company. Pegler ran the New Jersey based Roof Diagnostics Inc. a roofing contracting company that employed close to 400 workers.
Pegler misled the New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company, submitting documents that claimed Roof Diagnostics was not a roofing company nor that it employed roofers or ever did any type of roofing work. Pegler also falsified information to USF Insurance Company, claiming that Roof Diagnostics Inc. only employed subcontractors to do roofing repairs and installations. This helped Pegler avoid paying $134,000 in general liability coverage. In total it is estimated that Pegler avoided paying over $265,000 in proper insurance premiums.
New Jersey’s insurance prosecutor Ronald Chillemi used the trial as an example to discourage this type of fraud stating, “Such frauds will not be tolerated and will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Superior Court Judge Anthony J Mellaci Jr. of Monmouth County sentenced Pegler to 180 days in county jail. This will come on top of 150 hours of community service, $15,000 in criminal fines and three years on probation. Since being indicted Pegler has already repaid the total amount of money owed in restitution to both the New Jersey Casualty Insurance Company and USF Insurance Company.
Its important to remember the importance for roofing companies to carry accurate and up to date insurance information. When you begin your working with your roofing contractor it is important to make sure that all their information is accurate. The homeowner should ask to see official documents and even call the telephone number listed on those documents to make sure the information is current. Check to see that the contractor provides both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
This kind of homework insures that you get a trusted and reputable roofer.