Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Newark minister who filed a false insurance claim but failed to appear in court to face the charges.
Rev. Amir Natson, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, located at 119 Camden Street in Newark, was indicted for 2nd degree insurance fraud, 2nd degree conspiracy and 3rd degree wrongful impersonating.
Natson, 29, of Newark, who also uses the name Bobby Natson, submitted fraudulent claims to Church Mutual, the church’s insurance carrier.
According to Assistant Prosecutor John Wilson, who is handling the case, in an effort to fraudulently recover legal fees in late 2011 Rev. Natson created two fraudulent civil claims purporting to be lawsuits filed against the church. The insurance company issued a check for $5,000 – the maximum allowed under the policy – to cover the legal fees. The indictment, returned on Aug. 4, 2012, alleges the money was wrongfully awarded because, in fact, the church had not been sued.
During the course of the investigation it was revealed that on a prior occasion Rev. Natson submitted a claim to the same insurance company to cover damages to the church building. An employee of the church revealed to investigators from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office that, in fact, the church did not sustain the damages that were the basis of that insurance claim.
Rev. Natson was scheduled to appear in court on Friday, Aug. 24 to but failed to show up. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they plead guilty or are found guilty in a court of law.