New York State Insurance Department Superintendent Gregory V. Serio along with Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, New York City Police Department Bernard B. Kerik, and New York State Worker’s Compensation Board Inspector General John Burgher announced the arrest of a 48-year-old unlicensed Woodside insurance broker on charges of allegedly selling bogus auto insurance, general liability and workers’ compensation policies in amounts totaling over $50 million over a 15-month period.
The defendant is identified as Bianca Duenas, aka Blanca Duenas, 48, of Plainview, N.Y. She was allegedly operating out of a store known as Blanca’s Auto Insurance, Best Deal in Town, in Woodside.
The case was initiated when the New York State Insurance Department received complaints from individuals who claimed to have paid Duenas for insurance, received a bogus insurance card and subsequently learned from the insurance company that there was no such policy and that they were, in fact, not insured. The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, in routine checks of workers’ comp insurance, also came across companies who had been sold bogus policies. Both agencies immediately teamed up with the Auto Crimes Division of the NYPD and with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and a joint investigation was undertaken.
According to the charges, Blanca Duenas, whose license to sell insurance has been revoked since 1991 was allegedly selling non-existent policies for liability, workers’ comp and auto to companies and individuals. The policies would list an existing company with a non-existent policy and/or a non-existent broker, such as a brokerage or agency which had stopped doing business or never existed.
It is estimated that the defendant collected approximately $250,000 -$500,000 from small businesses and individuals, running a cash only business. The defendant was arrested Aug. 2, when a search warrant was executed at her place of business. Twenty-eight boxes of records and files were seized.
The defendant has been charged with forgery, criminal possession of forged instruments, scheme to defraud, falsifying business records, grand larceny, insurance fraud, and workers’ compensation law section 114 fraudulent practices. She faces seven years in prison if convicted.
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