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Charges: Woodbury man fleeced insurance company for $25,000 ring

A Woodbury man suspected of swindling an insurance company out of more than $25,000 was arrested Nov. 27, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A special agent with the state’s Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau arrested Alberto Jose Marzan following an eight-month investigation into allegations that he fraudulently filed an insurance claim for the loss of a diamond engagement ring.

Washington County prosecutors on Dec. 2 charged Marzan with one count of insurance fraud and one count of theft by swindle – both felonies.

According to a criminal complaint, Marzan filed a claim with Liberty Mutual Group in March for an engagement ring that had been lost or stolen. The claim was made about six months after Marzan added a jewelry insurance provision to the policy for a ring valued at $31,000 that he said had been purchased at Continental Diamond, the complaint states.

The insurance group issued the 38-year-old a check for $25,924 about two weeks after the claim was filed.

Liberty Mutual Group received an anonymous tip in April that Marzan’s claim was fraudulent. The tipster said the original appraisal documentation was false “and (Marzan’s) entire claim was a scam,” the complaint states.

Authorities learned Marzan didn’t actually take possession of the ring – which included a 2.61-karat diamond centerpiece – until after he received the insurance company’s payout.

A manager at Clearwater, Fla.-based Gold and Diamond Source confirmed Marzan had put a ring on layaway in October 2012 and took possession of it on April 18. The complaint states documentation used for proof of ownership was presented by Marzan while it was still in Gold and Diamond Source’s possession.

According to a search warrant, Marzan received the insurance company payout on April 9. He then made three payments to the Florida jeweler between April 16-18 for a total of $21,500 and was then given possession of the ring, according to the warrant.

Undercover surveillance showed Marzan’s fiancée – also of Woodbury – wearing the ring, the warrant states. The ring was recovered after police executed a search warrant at Marzan’s Hazel Trail residence.

The complaint states that after the warrant was executed on Nov. 1, Marzan terminated his apartment lease and bought a ticket for a flight departing Minneapolis on Nov. 27. The commerce department agent arrested Marzan at the airport.

Marzan was released from Washington County jail Dec. 2 on a conditional $5,000 bond.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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