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Press Release

Insurance Agent Admits to Fabricating Applications and Payment Forms for Unauthorized End-of-Life Policies in Order to Collect Commission Payments

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – A North Attleboro, MA, insurance broker admitted to a federal judge in Rhode Island today that he submitted fabricated applications for end-of-life insurance policies in clients’ names and used their banking and personal information, all without their knowledge or authorization, in order to obtain insurance in their names and collect over $135,000 dollars in commissions, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Bruno Francis Ragusa, 53, pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud.

Ragusa admitted that, without his clients’ knowledge, permission, or consent, he fabricated and submitted applications to purchase final expense policies in his clients’ names, using their personal identification information. Ragusa also admitted that he forged clients’ electronic signatures on the applications and directed that all policy correspondence be sent directly to him and not to the clients; that he used clients’ bank account and routing numbers to cause payment for the policies to be directly wired from their bank accounts without their knowledge; that he failed to advise his clients of the fact that policies had been issued in their names or that that payment was being drawn from their bank accounts; and that as a result of his criminal conduct, he collected $136,956.56 in sales commissions.

Ragusa is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, 2024. The defendant’s sentence will be determined by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

On November 28, 2023, the Department of Business Regulation for the State of Rhode Island revoked Ragusa’s license to sell insurance in Rhode Island. Ragusa’s licenses to sell insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut remain active.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Milind M. Shah.

The matter was investigated by the FBI. United States Attorney Cunha thanks the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts and the North Attleboro Police Department for their assistance.

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Contact

Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated June 20, 2024

Topic
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-70