PORT WATCHMAN’S LICENSE REVOKED FOR FLEEING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT AND THEN FILING FALSE INSURANCE AND POLICE REPORTS
May 14, 2018
Michael Mesquita, 56, of Jamaica, Queens, a Port Watchman since 2003, had his license revoked by the Commission today following a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
Mesquita was charged by the Commission with leaving the scene of a February, 2015 motor vehicle accident in Jamaica, Queens, without exhibiting his license and insurance identification to the driver of the other car involved in the accident, filing false insurance and police reports in which he claimed that his car had been stolen prior to the accident, and committing fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in connection with an interview under oath conducted by the Commission about the accident in which Mesquita denied driving his car at the time of the accident.
Following an investigation by the NYPD after the accident, Mesquita was initially arrested for Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, both felonies in New York. The Queens District Attorney’s Office subsequently adjourned the case in contemplation of dismissal.
The ALJ found that the Commission had proven at the hearing that Mesquita was driving a 2008 BMW registered, titled and insured to him but predominantly used by his girlfriend, when it struck another vehicle driven by complainant. Immediately after the impact, the complainant walked over to the BMW and had a brief conversation with Mesquita, then went back to his own car. Mesquita then walked over to the complainant’s vehicle and again they had a brief conversation. Shortly after, Mesquita drove his car out of the intersection where the accident occurred and parked it on the side of the road. He then walked away from the scene without exchanging certain information with the complainant, as required by New York State law.
About four hours later, Mesquita and his girlfriend reported the car stolen to the NYPD. Two days later, he also reported the car stolen to his insurance company, GEICO.
Mesquita’s scheme unraveled when it was revealed that he and his girlfriend were in possession of the only key for the BMW when the police arrived to prepare a stolen vehicle report. Based on the Commission’s expert witness at the hearing, the ALJ found that the Commission had proven that Mesquita’s BMW could not, in fact, be stolen without a key and therefore determined that Mesquita had falsely reported to the police and his insurance company that his vehicle had been stolen. The ALJ further found that “Respondent had many opportunities to tell the truth, but instead concocted lies…for which he was eventually caught.” Thus, the ALJ concluded that he lacked good character and integrity to continue as a Port Watchman and recommended revocation of his license. The Commissioners followed the ALJ’s recommendation.