News and Press Releases

Three Ft. Lauderdale Men Charged in $3 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 29, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced the indictment of defendants Joel Steinger, a/k/a Joel Steiner, 62, Steven Steiner, a/k/a Steven Steinger, 60, and Henry Fecker III, 58, all from Fort Lauderdale Florida, on charges stemming from their efforts to defraud various insurance carriers through fraudulent applications for health insurance. The indictment charges the three defendants with conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1349, and with substantive mail and wire fraud charges, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343. If convicted, they face maximum statutory penalties of 20 years in prison for each offense charged.

According to the indictment, the defendants made false claims of employment with a shell company, and then with a non-existent corporation documented through forged articles of incorporation. Each defendant made the false employment claims on applications for group health insurance submitted to various carriers between 2006 and 2010. The false insurance applications and other materials were transmitted through mailings and wire communications.

As a result of these false claims of employment, two insurance carriers provided the defendants with coverage which they were not qualified to receive and which the insurers would have otherwise declined. After receiving coverage based on of their misrepresentations, the defendants submitted claims of approximately $3 million.

The conduct alleged in the indictment occurred while defendants Joel Steinger and Steven Steiner were awaiting trial on charges stemming from their alleged involvement with Mutual Benefits Corporation (“MBC”). Defendants Steven Steiner and Henry Fecker are also awaiting trial on separate charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice relating to MBC.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and the IRS-CID. This prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerrob Duffy and Karen Rochlin.

An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Attachments:
Indictment (PDF)

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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