Former Monmouth County Dentist Pleads Guilty to $530,000 Disability Insurance and Social Security Fraud

TRENTON - Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a former Freehold dentist has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $530,000 in disability and Social Security benefits over a 13-year period.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Michael F. Monica, 65, of Freehold, pleaded guilty on Friday before Superior Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa in Middlesex County to a criminal accusation which charged him with second-degree theft by deception.

At the guilty plea hearing, Monica, formerly a licensed dentist in the State of New Jersey, admitted that between Jan. 2, 1992, and Nov. 29, 2005, he fraudulently obtained disability insurance claims money from several insurance companies and from the U.S. Social Security Administration. Monica admitted that he falsely advised the insurance companies and the Social Security Administration that he was disabled and not able to practice dentistry when, in fact, he continued to operate a dental practice during the entire 13-year period in Freehold.

Monica admitted that he submitted false statements about his disability to the Cigna Insurance Company, the Lincoln Financial Group, formerly known as Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company, as well as to the Social Security Administration, and during that period of time, he collected approximately $530,074 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled. Specifically, Monica wrongfully collected $144,000 from Cigna, $81,500 from Lincoln Financial, and $304,574 from the Social Security Administration.