New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Union County businessman and insurance agent has pled guilty to stealing thousands of dollars in insurance premium monies collected from insurance purchasers seeking to buy auto, home and commercial insurance and, in some cases, issuing phony automobile insurance identification cards to cover the scam.
According to Vaughn McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Stanley Span, 71, of Bergen County, pled guilty to a charge of third degree theft by deception before Union County Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim. The guilty plea was entered on Sept. 8. A third degree crime carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Additionally, Span faces possible civil insurance fraud fines pursuant to the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act and the revocation of his professional license by the Department of Banking and Insurance. Span is scheduled to appear before Judge Peim on Oct. 24 for sentencing.
Gooden Brown noted that Span, along with co-defendant Paul Kaplan, 49, of Union, Union County, were charged by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on July 17.
The indictment charged each with conspiracy, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received, and possession and/or simulating a motor vehicle insurance identification card. Additionally, Kaplan was charged with bad checks.
Span and Kaplan are licensed insurance agents and were officers of the now reportedly defunct Span Associates Insurance Agency located in Springfield, Union County. Kaplan reportedly failed to appear at his arraignment and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
In pleading guilty, Span reportedly admitted that between January, 2000 and December, 2001, to stealing more than $20,000 by selling fictitious insurance policies to potential insurance purchasers. Reportedly, Span admitted collecting the insurance premium monies from the purchasers, failing to remit the monies to the insurance companies, and issuing phony insurance identification cards to cover the theft.
As a result of Span’s actions, insurance carriers never received applications or premium monies and no policies were issued, thus jeopardizing the health and safety of the buyers who believed they had obtained insurance coverage as required by law.
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