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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

July 28, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor

 

Division of Criminal Justice
609-984-1936

 
Monmouth County Insurance Agent Charged with Theft of $346,000
in Insurance Sales Commissions

TRENTON - Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that a Monmouth County insurance agent was named today in a state grand jury indictment charging him with stealing more than $346,000 in insurance sales commissions.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Guy Cardinale, 46, of Fair Haven, a licensed insurance agent, was charged with one count of second-degree theft by deception, four counts of third-degree theft by deception and two counts of fourth-degree forgery.

The state grand jury indictment alleges that between July and December 2002, Cardinale, who was employed as an agent for the Canada Life Assurance Company, allegedly submitted life insurance policy applications and supporting records to create the impression that customers had purchased various life insurance policies when, in fact, they had not purchased insurance. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Cardinale allegedly submitted the fraudulent documents to the Canada Life Assurance Company in order to collect more than $346,025 in up-front commissions for four fictitious sales of insurance.

The indictment was handed up today to Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while third-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a maximum punishment of 18 months in state prison and a criminal fine of $10,000.

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

State Investigator Robert Stemmer and Deputy Attorney General Nicole D. Rizzolo were assigned to the investigation. Rizzolo presented the case to the state grand jury. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance provided assistance in the case.

“It is particularly disturbing when licensed insurance agents engage in fraud,” said Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute those involved in this type of criminal activity.”

Prosecutor Brown noted that some important cases have begun with anonymous tips from the public. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have any information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visit our Web site at www.NJInsuranceFraud.org. State regulations permit an award to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was established by the Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998 (AICRA). The Office is the centralized state agency that investigates and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud. Criminal convictions for insurance fraud can result in fines and imprisonment, while civil penalties can include substantial fines and referral for revocation or suspension of professional licenses.

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