Jose E. Urena, former NYPD officer, sentenced in car insurance scheme

An NYPD patrol car is seen in this undated photo.
An NYPD patrol car is seen in this undated photo. Photo Credit: Newsday/ Thomas A. Ferrara

A Manhattan judged sentenced a former NYPD officer to two to six years in prison Monday for an auto insurance scheme where he illegally reaped claim money to pay for luxury cars.

Jose E. Urena, who was assigned to the 25th Precinct in the Manhattan, pleaded guilty in August for four false insurance claims that date back to 2012.

Urena, who resigned from the force last summer, pocketed close to $23,000, from staged accidents, phony theft reports and other illicit activity, according to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“This conviction and prison sentence sends a clear message: there must be one set of rules for everyone, including those sworn to uphold the law,” he said in a statement.

Urena reported his leased Mercedes-Benz ML350 was vandalized in May 2012, but in reality he used the $9,289.39 claim for pre-existing damages. In January 2013, one day before the car’s lease was going to expire, the former officer claimed the vehicle was stolen and a few hours later it was found burned in a warehouse.

Urena, who went $2,000 over the allowable mileage limit, gave the keys of the Mercedes to another person who destroyed the car, according to the attorney general. Two months later, Urena had trouble paying off a Mercedes-Benz S550 so he staged a rear-end accident which the insurance company wrote off as a total loss.

In July 2014, Urena got into an accident in his Dodge Charger, but inflated the damage amount and received $7,503.97. He used some of that cash to trick out the car with a new grille, expensive tires, a painted roof, and other features, according to the attorney general.