Insurance Fraud NEWS
Pennsylvania agent allegedly fails to buy client insurance bonds
October 13, 2017, Lackawanna County, PA
An insurance agent from Lackawanna County charged in July with defrauding three clients in Susquehanna County was arrested Thursday on violations involving three additional firms in Luzerne County, authorities said.
Timothy Hewitt, 41, of South Abington Twp., was charged Thursday with various counts of insurance fraud, forgery and theft involving Arc Electric of Hazleton and Hi-Tech Flooring and Designtech Interiors, both of Kingston, according to the Northeastern Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Task Force.
Hewitt collected nearly $14,000 from the firms to post insurance bonds that the companies needed to secure certain jobs, authorities said. He collected $7,110 from Arc Electric, $3,564 from Hi-Tech Flooring and $3,300 from Designtech Interiors; and overbilled Hi-Tech $2,133 for its bond, the task force said.
Hewitt posted the bonds but investigators said he never sent the required amounts to the surety company that would insure the firms. The result was that the posted bonds were invalid, the firms were not insured for those jobs, and if there were ever any claims made against the bonds, they would not be honored by the carrier, authorities said.
“Basically, he pocketed the money,” said Detective Joseph Sarkis of the insurance fraud task force.
There were no claims made against the invalid bonds, Sarkis said.
Hewitt was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Paul Keeler and released on $30,000 unsecured bail.
The new charges stem from a continuing investigation of Hewitt.
In July, the task force filed charges against Hewitt involving three firms in Susquehanna County: Diaz Forest Products and Diaz Stone and Pallet, both in Harford, and Diaz Manufacturing in Montrose. Some of those violations included allowing a workers’ compensation policy to lapse but continuing to bill for it, and overbilling for policies, authorities had said.
Source: The Times Tribune