Georgia man sentenced to prison for multimillion-dollar insurance fraud perpetrated on new jersey victims
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. – An Acworth, Ga., man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for bilking an insurance company, a premium finance company, and related companies out of more than $15 million by falsely claiming that he had bound group life insurance policies for several hundred municipal employees in Linden, N.J., as well as several New Jersey unions, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Edward Dombrowski, 47, formerly of Middlesex County, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud charged in the Indictment against him. Judge Wolfson also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Dombrowski, along with his coconspirator, Stephen Locrotondo, 53, of Bridgewater, N.J., developed and marketed a group life insurance policy to the city of Linden, N.J., as well as to several unions in New Jersey. Dombrowski, Locrotondo, and others represented that municipal employees and union members could get life insurance coverage at no cost to them, their unions, or the city. The co-conspirators claimed the policies would be funded by a third-party financing company that would recoup its investment at the time of an employee’s death by being made a beneficiary of the policy – along with the beneficiary designated by the employee, the union, and the city.
Though Dombrowski and Locrotondo represented to the various unions and the city of Linden that policies were in place, no life insurance policies were ever bound. Dombrowski and Locrotondo made similar false representations to a third-party financing company that, based on their representations and forged documents sent through interstate wires, paid $15 million to an account controlled by Dombrowski to fund a group life insurance policy for the city of Linden. Rather than paying the monies to the insurance company, however, Dombrowski diverted nearly $2 million of the funds for his own use – purchasing real estate, stock and two luxury automobiles.
It was only when employees died and no death benefits were paid that the truth was discovered.
In addition to defrauding the financing company, Dombrowski and Locrotondo represented to New Jersey-based Pine Brook Funding that commissions were due Locrotondo for his role in helping bind the group life insurance policies. However, since no commissions were actually due, Pine Brook Funding was never paid back. In total, Dombrowski and Locrotondo defrauded Pine Brook Funding out of more than $1 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Wolfson sentenced Dombrowski to serve three years of supervised release and pay $993,589 in restitution. Locrotondo pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy and awaits sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, under the direction of Robert L. Panella, Special Agent in Charge for the New York Region; and investigators from the state of New Jersey, Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, under the direction of Stephen J. Taylor, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Candace Hom Esq., Newark