N.J. Broker Sentenced for Stealing Premium Monies

October 1, 2003

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Monmouth County insurance broker has been ordered to repay more that $145,000 in insurance premium monies that he reportedly stole from a finance company and which left five Monmouth County-area small businesses without insurance coverage.

According to Vaughn McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Douglas W. Ross, 48, of Long Branch, was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $85,288 in restitution. Ross had re-paid $60,000 prior to the Sept. 22 sentencing in addition to serving 396 days in the Monmouth County Detention Center.

Gooden Brown noted that Ross was charged by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Jan. 24. The indictment charged Ross with multiple counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received.

Gooden Brown said that Ross, a licensed insurance agent, was the owner/operator of Douglas W. Ross Associates, a commercial insurance brokerage company formerly located at 125 Half Mile Road, Red Bank. Ross Associates was in the business of obtaining commercial insurance policies and coverage for small business clients by borrowing funds from premium financing companies. The funds would then be forwarded to the insurance carriers for payment of the small business’ insurance premiums.

On Aug. 4, Ross plead guilty to the charges before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Paul Chaiet. Ross reportedly admitted that between February, 2001 and August, 2002, that he fraudulently obtained more than $121,000 in loans from the AMGRO Premium Financing Company in order to finance several small business insurance policies.

Ross reportedly obtained the loans by providing false documentation which represented the non-existent insurance policies. Ross then collected insurance premium payments from five commercial clients and failed to remit the payments to the insurance carriers. He then diverted the monies from the premium payments to his own personal use.

The five commercial clients included: Matt Gannon of Matt’s Plumbing; Robert Carver of BOCA Builders; Kenneth Yates of KKH Holding L.L.C.; Angela Yates of Destiny Tatoo Studio, Inc.; and Kenneth Falk of J&S Cycles.

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