Arrested in London late last year after more than a decade as a fugitive, Nofio Pecoraro Jr., 53, has been extradited to face trial on federal charges connected to his family’s failed insurance company.
According to the Associated Press, Pecoraro Jr. arrived in New Orleans on March 29 and appeared three days later in federal magistrate court, where he pleaded innocent to accusations of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering in operating Certified Lloyd’s Insurance Co. of Covington.
Frances Pecora, Certified Lloyd’s founder and Pecoraro’s mother, was named in the same 1991 indictment as her son, who uses the traditional spelling of the family name.
Frances Pecora later pleaded guilty to many of the charges and served 21/2 years in prison. She died in February 2003.
Pecoraro is being held in Orleans Parish Prison awaiting trial, now set for June 1 before U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt. But defense attorney Frank DeSalvo said he thinks the case will be resolved by a plea agreement with federal authorities long before that date.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone would only say that the case remains under investigation.
Certified Lloyd’s, founded in 1987, wrote about $7.2 million in premiums out of three offices in the New Orleans area, dealing mostly in high-risk automobile insurance.
Frances Pecora and Nofio Pecoraro Jr. ran the company until it was sold in the fall of 1991 and renamed Arist National Insurance Group. Arist was placed in liquidation in mid-1992.
The indictment against Pecoraro and his mother claims they carried out a scheme from January 1987 to September 1991 to defraud Certified Lloyd’s customers.
They also were charged with continuing to sell insurance policies after they knew Certified Lloyd’s was in financial trouble and hiding the problems from state insurance regulators.
Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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