New Jersey's 9th Legislative District

Connors, Rumpf & Gove

District 9

RE: NOW LAW – Superstorm Sandy Contractor Fraud Bill

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As your 9th District State Representatives, we are pleased to report that legislation was recently signed into law to establish an alternative, less burdensome method for applicants to substantiate contractor fraud and theft by deception for the purpose of applying for additional Superstorm Sandy relief from the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

In representing the interests of our constituents, including Sandy survivors who were twice victimized – first by the storm and then by an unscrupulous contractor – each member of our delegation sponsored and voted for this law. The legislation (A-4529), introduced by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, had bipartisan sponsorship and was passed unanimously in both Houses prior to being signed into law by the Governor on January 21 of this year.

In short, this new law is a response to severe complications that Sandy survivors encountered in attempting to qualify for additional funding made available by the DCA for Sandy fraud victims. Too many persons in need were being denied the funding as a result of the state’s stringent documentation requirements.

Under the new law, the DCA will be required to distribute fraud-response funding regardless of whether an applicant presents a charging document for the alleged fraud or theft, so long as the applicant is able to present alternative documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the fraud or theft by deception has occurred. An applicant may substantiate the allegation by submitting a written statement from a government agency indicating that there is reasonable cause to believe that the fraud or theft occurred.

In this case, “government agency” includes the Division of Consumer Affairs; the Attorney General’s Office; county prosecutors; State, county, and local law enforcement agencies; or any other governmental law enforcement authority. The law applies only to contract work in relation to the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation Program (RREM) or the Low-to-Moderate Income Homeowners Rebuilding Program (LMI), as established by the DCA to distribute federal funding allocated towards recovery from Superstorm Sandy.

In closing, we hope you find this legislative update informative. Certainly, we look forward to maintaining an open line of communication with you, as our delegation always stands ready to serve the people of the 9th Legislative District.

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Chris Connors

Senator - District 9

Brian Rumpf

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DiAnne Gove

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