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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Former Insurance Broker Going To Prison For Defrauding Insurance Companies And Individual Investors Out of More Than $1-Million

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.- U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Brian Bartz, 39, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, was sentenced to serve 70 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Charles J. Siragusa. The defendant has also been ordered to pay full restitution to the victims in this case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan K. McGuire, who handled the case, stated that between January 2015 and January 2020, the defendant was employed as an insurance broker at several different life insurance companies, selling and servicing policies and receiving commissions and bonuses for selling such policies. In connection with his employment, Bartz submitted approximately 105 fraudulent policy applications in various individuals’ names without their knowledge, utilizing actual names, social security numbers, and dates of birth. As a result, life insurance policies were issued, and the defendant was paid a total of $382,740.63 in commissions and bonuses to which he was not entitled. Bartz also used approximately $70,579.83 that he fraudulently withdrew from various bank accounts of unsuspecting clients in order to pay policy premiums on the fraudulent life insurance policies he obtained.

In addition, Bartz defrauded his insurance clients and potential clients by falsely claiming to also be an investment advisor, persuading individuals to invest funds that he never invested nor intended to invest. Rather than investing such funds on behalf of his clients, Bartz used them to gamble or to pay back prior investors. To prevent victims from inquiring about their investments, Bartz issued fake account statements. The victims included a widow who “invested” a $332,500 payout from her deceased husband’s life insurance policy with the defendant. Bratz stole all but $10,000 of that widow’s investment. 

In total, the loss amount for Bartz’s schemes is approximately $1,026,668.46.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the New York State Department of Financial Services, under the direction of Superintendent Adrienne Harris.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated September 22, 2021