Pecoraro Sentenced in La. for Fraud Conspiracy

August 19, 2004

A man who was on the lam for 11 years from Louisiana’s 1990s insurance scandals was sentenced on Aug. 18, 2004 to less than two years in prison, the Associated Press reported.

Nofio Pecoraro Jr., 54, pleaded guilty in April to a count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and structuring of monetary instruments at Certified Lloyd’s Insurance Co. of Covington.

On Au, U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt sentenced Pecoraro, who also spelled his name Pecora, to 21 months in prison and fined him $75,000.

In 1993, Pecoraro fled the United States. For several years, he ran a pub on the outskirts of London called Stryker’s Railway and lived under the alias Stephen John Stryker.

He was arrested in December for trying to buy a firearm under false pretenses, and was extradited to Louisiana after British 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.

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 2 1/2 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.

Pecoraro’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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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