N.Y. Broker Pleads Guilty to Stealing Nearly $830K in Premiums, Other Funds

October 6, 2015

A Jericho, New York, insurance broker pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $830,000 in insurance premiums and other funds, said Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas’ office.

Singas’ office said Tuesday that Joseph Koch, 57, pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice Helene Gugerty to second degree grand larceny (a C felony) and first degree scheme to defraud (an E felony). Koch has made partial restitution to date of more than $472,000. He is due back in court on Dec. 8.

According to the district attorney’s investigators, Koch spent stolen money on personal expenses, such as purchases at retail stores, country clubs, gambling, Mercedes Benz car payments, income taxes, and home mortgage payments.

“Clients trusted the defendant, but he betrayed that trust and used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle,” Singas said. “Because of the defendant’s theft, his clients were left without coverage and were exposed to serious liability issues.”

The case was referred to the district attorney’s office by the New York State Department of Financial Services. Koch was arrested on Aug. 30, 2012, as the result of a joint investigation by the two agencies.

Prosecutors said that between May 8, 2009 and March 31, 2010, Koch — as president of The Louis Koch Insurance Agencies Inc. in Baldwin, New York — was paid $648,074 in insurance premiums from a Queens, New York, commercial property management company which were not forwarded to several insurance companies for which he was acting as agent.

On June 26, 2009, Koch stole $10,572 from the same Queens commercial property management company as a premium payment made by the company for an insurance policy Koch never purchased on their behalf, said the district attorney’s office.

Koch also failed to forward insurance premium payments made by other clients to insurance companies and insurance brokers, including $51,244 to a Cincinnati-based insurance company; $20,000 to a Woodbridge, New Jersey-based insurance broker; and $2,525 to a Fairview Park, Ohio-based insurance broker, according to authorities.

Between March 30, 2005, and July 31, 2012, Koch also stole $97,546 from a Florida woman, consisting of funds which were given to Koch for her benefit by three of her nephews and a niece to be paid out to the woman in a certain amount each month until the funds were exhausted.

In the course of Koch’s schemes, he stole a total of $829,963, authorities said.

Source: Nassau County District Attorney’s Office

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