Former Insurance Agent Sentenced
For Stealing Customers' Premiums
TOPEKA, KAN. - A former Marshall County insurance agent was sentenced Monday to 21 months in federal prison for stealing customers' premiums, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. In addition, she was ordered to pay $160,000 in restitution.
Monica Smart, 49, Frankfort, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. In her plea, she admitted the crime occurred from January 2009 to Aug. 27, 2010, while she worked for United Insurance, a small insurance company located in Marysville, Kan.
Smart changed United customers’ mailing addresses so that the customers would not receive policy statements and notices. She also changed United customers' premium payment schedules from annual and semi-annual payments to monthly payments. She continued to collect the full annual and semi-annual payments from the customers and deposited those payments into a bank account she controlled. Then she paid only the amounts due for a monthly payment. She used the difference to pay her personal expenses, much like an interest-free loan.
When Smart’s scheme unraveled, policy holders were made whole, but the owners of the insurance company were not.
Grissom commended the Marysville Police Department, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.