Insurer Sues Former Media Executive to Recover Theft Claim Payments

January 30, 2006

An insurance company has sued a former executive of the New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report to recover nearly $600,000 the carrier paid to reimburse the publications for his alleged thefts.

Federal Insurance Co. says in the lawsuit filed in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court that Frank Schilero, former vice president for information and technology at both publications, stole the money from them between September 2000 and February 2004.

During that period, say court papers, Schilero took kickbacks from a vendor of both publications after allowing the vendor to submit invoices for work that was not done and that contained overcharges. He also renewed contracts with that vendor although the two publications received lower bids for the contracts from others, court papers say.

Donna Dees, spokeswoman for the newspaper and the magazine, confirmed that Schilero left the company in February 2004. Dees said she had no comment on the lawsuit.

Federal Insurance, under terms of an insurance policy it had written, paid the Daily News and U.S. News $572,800 for the claimed losses. The insurance company says in its lawsuit that is it now trying to get the money back from Schilero.

Anthony L. Cotroneo, lawyer for Federal, said that as far as he knew, no criminal complaint or charges were ever filed against Schilero. He said he did not know whether Schilero had a lawyer.

Barbara Thompson of the Manhattan district attorney’s office said she found no record of Schilero being prosecuted.

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