Pasadena Woman Convicted in Life Insurance Scam After Husband's Death

January 21, 2000

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Elizabeth Hermann, 43, Nature Walk Lane, Pasadena, pleaded guilty today in the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County by Judge Ronald A. Silkworth, on one count of false claim for insurance and one count of attempted theft.

In November of 1996, Elizabeth Hermann submitted a mortgage life insurance application to American Bankers Life Assurance Company of Florida, on her late husbandís life, 19 months after George Hermann died of cancer. This policy was issued on December 18, 1996, and the defendant paid the premium on this policy, in the amount of $26.88 per month.

On September 16, 1998, the defendant submitted a death claim stating that Mr. George Hermann had recently passed away. In support of this claim, the Elizabeth Hermann submitted an altered Maryland Death Certificate, making it appear that George Hermann died on April 3, 1998, rather than April 3, 1995. The fraud was discovered by the insurance company before the payment was made. Had it not been spotted, American Bankers Life Assurance Company would have paid the defendantís mortgage off in the amount of $93,024.83.

"Mrs. Hermann simply tried to cash in on the tragedy of her husbandís death," said Attorney General Curran, "by trying to get her mortgage paid off by a life insurance policy she applied for a month after he died."

A sentencing date of March 16, 2000, has been set before Judge Joseph P. Manck. Each count of false claim for insurance and attempted theft carry at maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration, and will be prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General.

For Further Information Contact:
Sean Caine
Public Information Officer
(410) 576-6357