New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced the arrest of two Pennsylvania insurance brokers on charges they stole more than $100,000 in client insurance premium monies which were supposed to be used to purchase insurance policies – as a result of the alleged actions by the defendants, several corporations were left without important insurance coverage. The ongoing investigation is working to determine the extent of the alleged fraud and is seeking information from other potential victims.
According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, a joint-agency investigation conducted by the New Jersey Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, the Union County (N.J.) Prosecutor’s Office and the Bensalem (Pa.) Police Department, has resulted in the arrest of Thomas Hurd, 47, of Bensalem, Pa. and Christopher Melilli, 29, of Philadelphia, on multiple counts of theft and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.
State Investigators from the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor and detectives from the Bensalem and Philadelphia Police Departments arrested Hurd and Melilli at their respective residences this week.
Hurd remains in custody in the Bucks County (Pa.) Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail set by District Magistrate Robert Wagner. Melilli remains in custody in Philadelphia pending a hearing before the Municipal Court. The Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will move to extradite both defendants to New Jersey to face criminal charges and will prepare the case for submission to a State Grand Jury for possible indictment.
The New Jersey arrest warrants allege that Hurd and Melilli owned and operated three insurance agencies in New Jersey and Pennsylvania – T.I.C. Brokerage located at 324 Main St., Bayville, Ocean County, T.I.C. Brokerage and The Hurd Agency both located at 3569 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA.
It is charged that Hurd and Melilli failed to remit in excess of $100,000 in insurance premium monies collected from clients who had purchased varying types of insurance. Specifically, Hurd is charged with three counts of failing to deposit insurance premiums paid by three Trenton-based companies – $31,644 paid by HINA Enterprises (taxi company); $38,628 paid by A.I. Credit Corporation; and $28,730 paid by MAAHA Enterprises (taxi company). Melilli is charged with two counts of theft related to the failure to deposit premium monies paid by HINA Enterprises and MAAHA Enterprises. It is charged that the defendants stole the insurance premium monies and used the funds for personal expenses.
The Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor have reason to believe that Hurd and Melilli, and perhaps others, targeted other insurance purchasers and that there may be additional victims who are not aware that they may have been cheated out of insurance coverage.
The Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is encouraging business owners and individuals from eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey who had dealings and/or contact with Hurd and Melilli and the insurance brokerage firms of T.I.C. and The Hurd Insurance Agency to contact the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s toll-free hotline at: 1-877-55-FRAUD
New Jersey complaints can also be filed on line via the New Jersey insurance fraud Web site at: www.njinsurancefraud.org.
Additionally, Union County, New Jersey, residents who purchased insurance from T.I.C. or The Hurd Agency are asked to contact the Union County Prosecutor’s Office Insurance Fraud Unit at: (908) 527-4933.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.