Scranton, Pennsylvania Agency CEO Arrested on Premium Theft Charges

July 7, 2010

Agents from the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section have arrested the CEO of a bankrupt Scranton insurance agency, who is charged with the theft of more than $1.3 million in premiums that were collected from businesses, schools and other organizations for insurance coverage.

Attorney General Tom Corbett identified the defendant as Brian James Murray, who served as CEO, chairman and principal of the Murray Insurance Agency in Scranton. Murray is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Corbett said that Murray is accused of illegally diverting $1,302,672 in premiums that should have been forwarded to insurance companies as payment for policies issued to numerous organizations, including Mt. Airy Casino, the University of Scranton, St. Joseph’s University, Loyola College of Maryland, Moses Taylor Hospital and the Borough of Phoenixville in Chester County.

“This is theft on a grand scale, targeting an assortment of institutions throughout the region that placed their trust in Mr. Murray,” Corbett said. “These insurance policies were supposed to help protect clients against possible losses, but instead the money was allegedly used to support Mr. Murray’s lifestyle and business.”

Corbett said the alleged thefts occurred between October 2008 and September 2009. Murray and his business filed for personal and corporate bankruptcy on September 22, 2009.

Corbett said various insurance companies have made arrangements to honor policies that customers had paid Murray for.

Murray is charged with four counts of insurance fraud and four counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000.00 fine.

Murray was arrested on July 1 and preliminarily arraigned before Magisterial District Judge John P. Pesota. Murray was lodged in the Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport, according to officials, who said a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 9.

Corbett said that this is an ongoing investigation and additional criminal charges are anticipated.

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