A Berks County, Pennsylvania, resident has been charged with theft of more than $255,000 in insurance premiums from clients.
The charges were brought against Joseph Maurer, 58, who owned and operated Commonwealth Professional Group, a former insurance agency located in Reading, Berks County. Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General made the announcement on Oct. 17.
According to the criminal complaint, Maurer is accused of taking more than $188,000 in premiums paid by four municipal governments. These municipalities are: Bally Borough and South Heidelberg Township, located in Berks County, as well as Salisbury Township in Lehigh County and Earl Township in Lancaster County.
The money allegedly paid to Maurer by the four municipalities was supposed to be forwarded to Pennprime Insurance Trust, of Harrisburg, as payment for workers compensation coverage.
Additionally, he allegedly misdirected premium payments for at least five other policies purchased through his agency, totaling in excess of $67,000. These payments were supposed to be forwarded to Travelers Insurance and ACE American Insurance Company on behalf of clients.
He is charged with three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.
The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Maurer was preliminarily arraigned on Oct. 12 and released on $850,000 unsecured bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for November.
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