State Fraud Prosecutor’s Correction Clears N.J. Agency of Ties to Indicted Agent Hall

May 26, 2004

New Jersey’s insurance fraud prosecutor has issued a clarification of an insurance fraud indictment announced last week and published by Insurance Journal.

On May 20, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice in the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced the indictment of Jeffrey C. Hall, 53, Cross Lanes, West Virginia. Hall, a former Union County insurance agent, was charged with the theft of more than $16,600 in insurance premiums paid by customers seeking to purchase insurance.

The original announcement identified Hall as a New Jersey-licensed insurance agent formerly employed at the Valvano Insurance Agency in Linden. A review of information determined that Hall’s activities, as described in the indictment, were not in his capacity as an agent of the Valvano Insurance Agency, but in his own capacity as Hall’s Insurance Agency.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosector Greta Gooden-Brown, Hall was charged in a Union County Grand Jury indictment with four counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received (3rd degree). If convicted on all charges, Hall faces up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $60,000. In addition, the case will be referred to the Department of Banking and Insurance, which regulates insurance licenses issued to insurance agents, for any action deemed appropriate.

The Union County Grand Jury indictment alleges that between May and October, 2000, Hall accepted $16,627 in premium payments from four customers seeking to purchase insurance through the agency.

The investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor reportedly determined that Hall did not purchase insurance for the clients, instead keeping the monies for his own use.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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