January 10, 2006
THREE SISTERS CONVICTED OF DEFRAUDING STATE INSURANCE
General J. Joseph Curran announces the guilty pleas of all three
sisters indicted earlier in a massive scheme
to defraud the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund ("MAIF")of
over $65,000. Jane Gnacyk, 46, of New Cut Rd. in Severn, Mary Ellen
Webster, 37, of Wise Avenue in Pasadena and Linda Lunghi, 35, of
Freedom Drive, Glen Burnie, all pled guilty before the Honorable
Paul Goetzke, of the Anne Arundel Circuit Court.
admitted to stealing $64,912 from MAIF between 1994 and 2003.
Defendant Gnacyk was, at all relevant times, employed
as an Adjuster in the Claims Department at MAIF. In that capacity,
she had authority to approve claims for payment and to issue the
payments to claimants without obtaining a supervisor’s approval,
in amounts that increased over the more than 20 years that she
worked at MAIF.
claims filed in legitimate accidents, Gnacyk would fraudulently
add to MAIF’s computerized loss records the
names of fictitious claimants, and then turn around and issue payments
or drafts to these phantom claimants, using names identical or
similar to those of her sisters, their husbands and their children.
She was always careful to not exceed her authorization limits,
so no one would question what she was doing. She would also note
addresses for these phantom individuals which were either identical
or similar to those of her co-conspirators.
She did this 24 times, in 11 accident files. Fifteen of the checks
were in the name of (or similar to the name of) co-defendant
Linda Lunghi, Michael Lunghi, Linda’s husband, or their
minor children. The Lunghi payments totaled $42,762.50 . Seven
of the fraudulent drafts were issued in the names of or similar
to the names of co-defendant Mary Ellen Webster or her minor
children. The Webster payments totaled $19,650. The two remaining
fraudulent payments were issued by Gnacyk in the names of non-existent
people, not her two sisters, for another $5,000.
The scheme was uncovered by MAIF as a result of an internal audit,
resulting in Gnacyk’s termination and referral of the matter
to the Attorney General’s Criminal Investigations Division.
The Maryland State Police assisted in the investigation.
Sentencing is set for March 3, 2006.