A former Indiana insurance adjuster and his wife were sentenced to prison last week after admitting to a scheme to bilk The Hartford insurance company out of more than $500,000, according to the Indianapolis Star.
U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney sentenced Ronald C. Collins Jr., 37, to 33 months in prison. His wife, Melissa Trel Hurley-Collins, 35, received 27 months. Both pleaded guilty to single counts of conspiracy and mail fraud, U.S. Attorney Susan W. Brooks announced.
Both also were ordered to pay back $545,128.24, the amount they were accused of stealing.
Authorities said that while employed with The Hartford, Ronald Collins falsified auto accident claims, causing settlement checks for accidents that had occurred to be mailed payable to nonexistent people.
His wife opened bank accounts and post office boxes using fictitious names, picking up the checks and cashing them.
Collins had been a supervisory claims adjuster for the national insurance and financial services firm since at least 1998. He had the authority to settle claims of up to $35,000 made against The Hartford’s personal automobile insurance policies “without further approval or review,” authorities said.
Copyright 2005 IndyStar.com. All rights reserved