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


September 27, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

BELTSVILLE MAN CONVICTED OF INSURANCE FRAUD

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that Stephen Aquilino, of Beltsville, pleaded guilty in Prince George’s County Circuit Court to one count of Felony Insurance Fraud and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Insurance Fraud. The charges stemmed from allegations that Aquilino conspired with two others to submit false insurance claims for property losses resulting from "padding" insurance claims or alleging losses from burglaries that did not occur.

According to the statement of facts presented by the prosecutor, between February 1995 and September 1998, Stephen Aquilino and two others filed seven fraudulent claims with four different insurance carriers for property losses from burglaries. Aquilino shared receipts and other forms of documents with his co-conspirators and received in excess of $31,000 as a result of his fraudulent claims. He received $22,805 from a single claim of losses from a false report of a burglary on September 18, 1997.

The Honorable Robert Woods sentenced Aquilino to five years incarceration, suspending all but 90 days, to be served in the form of home detention. Judge Woods further ordered that Aquilino be place on probation for three years and that he pay restitution in the amount of $31,100 to State Farm Insurance Company, the Hartford Insurance Company and Nationwide Insurance Company, by December 21, 2001.

"Mr. Aquilino fabricated burglaries in an effort to defraud insurance companies out of thousands of dollars," Attorney General Curran said. "Insurance fraud is a crime taken very seriously by this office and the Insurance Administration and we will continue to work together to prosecute men like Stephen Aquilino."

The conviction follows a joint investigation conducted by the Insurance Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the Office of the Attorney General.

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