N.J. Agent Sentenced to 4 Years in State Pen

August 10, 2004

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that a Camden County insurance agent has been sentenced to state prison for reportedly stealing more than $429,000 as part of a complex insurance fraud and investment scheme in which he convinced family and friends to invest their life-savings in non-existent investments.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Peter Clark, 36, of Westmont, Camden County, was sentenced on Aug. 6 by Camden County Superior Court Judge Linda Baxter to four years in state prison and ordered to pay more than $385,900 in restitution. In addition, Clark must forfeit his insurance agent’s license.

Gooden Brown said that Clark pleaded guilty on June 28 to theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and theft by deception. The charges were contained in a criminal Accusation filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

In pleading guilty, Clark, an independent insurance agent with contracts to write annuity and/or insurance policies for various insurance companies and brokers, reportedly admitted that between June 7, 2001 and Oct. 28, 2003, to purchasing several annuity policies for himself and family members in order to receive the commissions for the sales. The personal checks submitted to pay for the annuity policy premiums were returned for insufficient funds.

The investigation determined that Clark fraudulently collected non-authorized commissions from the following insurance companies:

• American National Insurance Company – $56,034
• Allianz Life Insurance Company – $36,125
• Conseco Services LLC – $38,500
• American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company – $9,400
• American Investors Life – $6,717
• ING USA Annuity & Life Insurance Company – $44,603
• Midland National Life-Annuity Division – $15,961
• North American Company Life & Health Insurance – $9,948

Clark also reportedly admitted that from Jan. 1, 1999 through Dec. 31, 2000, he defrauded at least 10 people, including his mother and other family members, by convincing them to invest a lump sum of money in a phony investment that would pay the investor 12 percent annual interest.

The investment accounts were non-existent and it was charged that Clark used the monies for personal expenses.

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