NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


October 20, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

FORMER INSURANCE AGENT GUILTY OF INSURANCE FRAUD

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Ernest Davis Ginter, Jr., 2311 Fleet Street, Baltimore, an insurance agent whose license was revoked in 1994, has been convicted of theft and insurance fraud for stealing more than $22,000 in insurance premiums belonging to one of his clients. Appearing in Baltimore City Circuit Court before Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson, Ginter, 57, entered a guilty plea to charges that for more than three years, he collected insurance premiums from a client, but failed to pay the insurance companies that were supposed to be providing coverage.

In a statement of facts presented by a prosecutor with the Office of the Attorney General, Judge Johnson learned that Ginter sold group life and employee disability insurance coverage to Oriole Chemical Trucking Company, a Delaware firm, in 1984. Oriole sent Ginter a check each month to pay the premium, from which Ginter deducted his commission and forwarded that balance to the insurance companies. In March 1996, however, Ginter began keeping the premium payments for himself. The insurance companies cancelled the policies for non-payment in November of 1996. Ginter was discovered only when Oriole attempted to file a disability claim on behalf of one of its employees in 1999. By that time, Ginter had stolen $22,148.09 and Oriole had been without coverage for three years.

Judge Johnson sentenced Ginter, whose insurance license was revoked in 1994 for stealing from another client, to three years incarceration and suspended all but 60 days of that sentence. Upon his release, Ginter will be placed on thee years supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $22,148.

"Insurance fraud is a serious crime and one that affects many people beyond those directly involved," Attorney General Curran said. "Now, in addition to repaying the money he stole, Mr. Ginter must also serve 60 days in jail and remain on probation for three years."

The Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration investigated the case. The Insurance Fraud Division, which is staffed by investigators from of the Insurance Administration, troopers from the State Police and prosecutors from Attorney Generalís Office, is a unit responsible for investigating fraudulent insurance acts in this State.

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