TRENTON – A Union County insurance agency employee was sentenced today for diverting approximately $20,000 worth of life insurance proceeds to himself, Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced.
According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Vincent Scaturro, 56, of Lodi, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $20,270 in restitution by Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim in Union County. Scaturro was sentenced based on his guilty plea to an accusation which charged him with insurance fraud.
In pleading guilty on Dec. 9, 2009, Scaturro, an employee of Monumental Life Insurance Company, admitted that he submitted false disbursement request forms. The forms purportedly represented the requests of certain life insurance policyholders to claim insurance proceeds from Monumental Life Insurance Company. Scaturro admitted that he knew these requests were false, and that he retained the insurance policy proceeds for himself.
Two other Monumental Life Insurance Company agents, Luigi Sacco and Susan Caines were charged on Feb. 24 in a conspiracy to divert an additional $40,000 worth of life insurance proceeds to themselves.
Sacco, 49, of Fair Lawn, and Caines, 61, of East Orange, were charged in an indictment with second degree conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, second-degree insurance fraud, and third-degree theft by deception.
The Union County grand jury indictment alleges that between August 2004 and December 2005, Sacco and Caines, allegedly stole more than $60,000 by submitting false disbursement request forms. It is charged that the fraudulent forms purportedly represented the requests of certain life insurance policy holders to claim insurance proceeds from Monumental Life Insurance Company.
According to the indictment, Sacco and Caines allegedly knew the requests were false. They allegedly cashed the Monumental checks themselves or had them made payable to the Hands and Ears Crisis Center (Helping Hands) which cashed them and, in turn, transmitted the proceeds to the insurance agents.
Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of $150,000, while crimes of the third degree carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000. The defendants also face the possibility of civil insurance fraud fines, according to authorities.
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