Former Mass. Brokerage Owner Pleads Guilty to Stealing $10M From Aetna

A former insurance brokerage owner has pleaded guilty on June 2 in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut, to wire fraud and money laundering charges stemming from her theft of more than $10 million from Hartford-based Aetna.

According to the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut, Bonney Hebert of Killington, Vermont, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The sentencing has been scheduled for August.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Hebert was the sole owner and president of Academic Risk Resources and Insurance LLC (ARRI), a risk management and insurance brokerage firm in Boston.

ARRI’s business included brokering insurance contracts between health insurance providers and colleges or universities in order to provide health insurance for students and other individuals affiliated with the schools.

In 2007, Hebert and her firm began serving as the broker for a student health insurance contract entered into between Aetna and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The contract between Aetna and Rutgers provided that premiums would be paid by Rutgers to ARRI and then transmitted by ARRI to Aetna.

Between 2009 and 2012, Hebert failed to pass along to Aetna $10,358,728 in premiums paid by Rutgers. She used the stolen funds on personal expenses and to cover the business expenses of ARRI, according to the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

Authorities said Hebert disclosed her fraudulent scheme to Aetna representatives in 2012. She subsequently sold ARRI to another business and directed that payments related to the sale be made directly to Aetna. Through these payments, Hebert has repaid Aetna some $1.59 million. Hebert also has not collected more than $900,000 in commissions owed to her by Aetna. As a result, she currently owes Aetna $7,846,305.45 in restitution.

Source: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut