Ex-New York Insurance Broker Sentenced to Probation

October 15, 2008

A 59-year-old former New York insurance broker who sold insurance despite having his license revoked in 2002 was sentenced to five years’ probation yesterday for pocketing $90,000 in premiums from businesses in locations across the state – from New York City to Watertown.

Thaddeus J. Okoniewski, of Binghamton, pleaded guilty to grand larceny more than a year ago. Sentencing was adjourned until yesterday so that Okoniewski could make restitution to his victims.
Okoniewski was arrested in September 2006 following an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau and the office of Broome County District Attorney Gerald F. Mollen.

The investigation began after a New York City apartment owner complained to the Department that an insurance claim was never paid despite repeated inquiries to Okoniewski. The Department found that Okoniewski had given the apartment owner a forged insurance certificate and kept $31,000 in premiums.

Investigators identified four other businesses victimized in a similar way. Each of the businesses believed they were covered by valid property or general liability insurance policies. They included a Tioga County nursing home, a self-employed painter, a Watertown area motorcycle dealership and a Westchester County country club, which lost $50,000 in premiums.

Okoniewski sold the fraudulent polices after his insurance broker’s license was revoked by the Insurance Department in June 2002. That action occurred after he admitted selling bogus workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.

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