U.K. Insurance Broker Sentenced for Stealing $467K from Clients
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Robert G. Ross, 51, of Middleburg, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for stealing approximately $467,000 from his clients. Ross was also ordered to pay $467,000 in restitution and agreed to an asset forfeiture judgment.
Ross pleaded guilty on Sept. 29, 2016, to a criminal information charging him with one count of mail fraud. According to court documents, Ross, a citizen of the United Kingdom, owned and operated Thames Insurance Services, Inc., a wholesale marine insurance agency that served domestic retail insurance agents in the United States and brokers in London. Ross and Thames were intermediaries in the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. A portion of the Lloyd’s market involves excess and surplus insurance for high-risk conditions or policies that fall outside standard underwriting guidelines. Ross had a surplus insurance license that authorized him to place in the Lloyd’s market high-risk marine polices for ocean-bound yachts and other private and commercial vessels.
According to court documents, the domestic retail agents contacted Ross and requested that he locate brokers in London to place policies in the Lloyd’s market. The policyholders typically paid their retail agents the full premium amounts for the policies. The retail agents then forwarded the payments to Ross’ residence by U.S. mail and to his trust account by wire transfer. After deducting a commission, Ross was supposed to remit the net premium funds to two U.K. brokers. However, between February 2015 and November 2015, Ross abused his position of trust by not remitting payments from four retail agents. Ross instead converted the funds to personal use.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Joseph Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. Senior District Judge James C. Cacheris. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward P. Sullivan prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:16-cr-218.