Pecoraro Pleads Guilty to Fraud Conspiracy

April 26, 2004

A man who ran a pub in England while on the lam from Louisiana’s 1990s insurance scandals pleaded guilty to a federal charge and faces up to five years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Nofio Pecoraro Jr., 54, entered his plea to a count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and structuring of monetary instruments at Certified Lloyd’s Insurance Co. of Covington.

In England, under the name John Stryker, Pecora owned Stryker’s Railway, a popular pub on London’s outskirts. He was arrested in December for trying to buy a firearm under false pretenses, and was extradited to Louisiana after authorities learned his true identity.

Certified Lloyd’s wrote about $7.2 million in premiums—mostly for high-risk car insurance—out of three offices in the New Orleans area. Prosecutors said the company kept writing policies after it knew it could no longer process claims and misled insurance regulators about its solvency.

Certified Lloyd’s operated during a period in Louisiana where millions of dollars in unpaid claims were left behind by underfunded and often fraudulent insurers.

U.S. District Judge Kurt Englehardt, who took the plea, set sentencing for July 21. Pecora, who also spelled his name Pecoraro, also could be fined up to $10,000.

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.

Pecoraro fled about the time of the indictment. His mother pleaded guilty to many of the charges and served 21/2 years in prison. She died in February 2003.

The pair sold Certified Lloyd’s in the fall of 1991. The company, renamed Arist National Insurance Group, was placed in liquidation in mid-1992.

Nofio Pecora’s father, Nofio Pecora Sr., was considered by the FBI as a top lieutenant to Carlos Marcello, the New Orleans-based Mafia boss who controlled illegal gambling and drug distribution for most of the South from the 1940s through the 1970s.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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