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Somerset County man sentenced to county jail for issuing more than $166K in bad checks

BERNARDSVILLE BOROUGH, NJ (Somerset County) – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Friday announced the sentencing of a Somerset County man for issuing numerous bad checks.

Alfred Balak-Labracio, 38, of Bernardsville was sentenced to 364 days in county jail on Friday by Superior Court Judge Michael J. Rogers in Somerset County. Labracio waived indictment by trial and pleaded guilty on Monday, April 11 to an accusation charging him with 49 counts of third-degree bad checks and 3 counts of fourth-degree bad checks, Platkin said.

“Writing bad checks is a crime with serious consequences,” Platkin said. “Let this sentence serve as a clear message to all. New Jersey has no tolerance for swindlers who defraud businesses and others through check fraud scams.”

“We’re committed to holding criminals accountable and ensuring the end of their schemes,” said Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson. “The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who commit these crimes in order to deter this type of fraud that can harm individuals as well as businesses.”

In pleading guilty, Labracio admitted to issuing 49 bad checks totaling more than $166,088 to Mercedes Benz Financial Services, BMW Financial Services, and General Motors Financial between September 29, 2017 and September 5, 2018 and another 3 checks totaling more than $1,814 to Progressive Insurance, Geico Insurance, and BMW Financial Services between August 17, 2017 and October 18, 2017, Platkin said.

In waiving indictment by trial, Labracio admitted to issuing or passing a check or similar sight order for the payment of money, knowing that it would not be honored by the drawee, Platkin said.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson noted that many cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the website at State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution, and conviction for insurance fraud.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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