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Lawn man clipped high-end clients, insurers, Bergen authorities say

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

The owner of a defunct North Jersey landscaping company is charged with ripping off customers — in one case doing little work for $130,000 paid on a $350,000 project — as well as a major health provider.


Mark Zames, who operated Nature View Landscape Co. LLC, “accepted large deposits on substantial contracts and failed to perform as bound by the c

Zames

ontracts,” said Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli.

He also collected on “hundreds” of health insurance claims for nearly a decade from Oxford Health Plans for two “ghost” employees who had no-show jobs, the prosecutor said.

Zames, of Mahwah, who turns 35 next week, was arrested today and charged with theft and insurance fraud. He was released without bail pending an appearance tomorrow in Central Municipal Court in Hackensack.

Zames ran a high-end business catering almost exclusively to northern Bergen County clients. But he abruptly closed shop last October after Atlantic Stewardship Bank of Midland Park denied his application for a $500,000 loan, Molinelli said.

Zames contrived a list of contracts that included people who weren’t his clients, a well as inflated price listings for those who actually were, the prosecutor said.

Zames would’ve qualified for the loan, too, had he not already exceeded his credit limit already, bank officials told Molinelli’s investigators.

Soon after, he filed for bankruptcy.

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