The primary owner and operator of a third-party insurance administrator in New Jersey has been sentenced to seven years in state prison after being convicted at trial of stealing approximately half a million dollars from a trust fund, according to authorities. The fund administered health insurance policies and prescription coverage for hundreds of employees and their families.
Catarina Young, 48, of Metuchen, N.J., was sentenced on Jan. 9 to seven years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves in Middlesex County. Last October, Young was convicted by a Middlesex County jury of second-degree theft by unlawful taking and second-degree misapplication of entrusted property or property of a government or financial institution. The conviction followed a five-week trial.
At the time the crimes occurred, Young was a partial owner of the now-defunct Elite Benefits Corp., which was located in Middlesex County. Elite administered insurance plans on behalf of third-parties, including the Multi-Skilled Employees & Employer Welfare Trust Fund, an organization consisting of several union employers and hundreds of employees.
The Middlesex County jury determined that between Nov. 17, 2003 and Dec. 26, 2006, Young, as fiduciary of the fund, deposited 86 checks and 16 wire transfers totaling $462,341 belonging to the fund into her personal bank accounts and, subsequently, used these stolen proceeds for her own purposes.
The stolen proceeds were supposed to be used to purchase health insurance coverage and prescription coverage from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Benecard, respectively. By stealing this money, Young’s actions resulted in the cancellation of a health insurance plan that insured more than 1,000 working people and their families, authorities announced.
Source: Office of the New Jersey Attorney General