President of N.J. Agency Pleads Guilty to Bilking Clients Out of Money

October 13, 2005

New Jersey Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that the president of a Middlesex County insurance agency has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $474,000 in premium finance monies that were to be directed to his company’s clients.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Rodger Strandskov, 53, a licensed insurance agent, of Springwood Court, Princeton, Mercer County, pleaded guilty before Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Frederick DeVesa to a criminal Accusation which charged two counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property received (2nd degree).

When sentenced on Jan. 6, 2006, Strandskov faces up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $300,000. Strandskov may also face civil insurance fraud fines. In addition, the matter will be referred to the Department of Banking and Insurance for appropriate action with respect to Strandskov’s insurance agent license.

At the guilty plea hearing, Strandskov reportedly admitted that, in his capacity as president of Eastern Insurance Agency, which operated in Kendall Park, Middlesex County, he failed to remit premium finance money to insurance companies and instead used the money for his own purposes. The money was to pay for insurance policies sold through his agency and provided by AMGRO Financing. Insurance premium financing occurs when an insurance customer, in this case commercial trucking companies, borrows money from a lender to purchase the required commercial trucking insurance.

An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, as a result of the theft, more than a dozen customers’ policies were terminated earlier than expected. The investigation further revealed that Strandskov failed to return more than $134,500 in borrowed premiums from 14 insurance customers whose policies had been prematurely terminated.

While the investigation determined that Strandskov had stolen more than $1 million in premium finance money, he paid back more than $500,000 prior to pleading guilty.

Therefore, Strandskov admitted that he stole approximately $474,289 from or due to AMGRO Premium Finance Company.

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