October 5, 2006
FORMER AGENT SENTENCED FOR THEFT OF PREMIUM MONEY
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today
that a 48-year-old former resident of Derwood, Maryland has been
sentenced to six months in the Montgomery County Detention Center
for stealing money entrusted to her by clients of Montgomery Insurance
and Bonding, Inc. for payment of premiums for insurance policies.
Karen Lee Hamilton, currently a resident of San Antonio, Texas
could have been sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and pay a
$25,000 fine. The case followed an investigation by the Insurance
Fraud Division of the Maryland Insurance Administration and the
Office of the Attorney General.
According to the Statement of Facts given to the
Court in support of Hamilton’s guilty plea, between November
2003 and June 2004, Hamilton accepted payments of premium money
from ten (10)
clients of Montgomery Insurance and Bonding on twenty-five (25)
occasions and did not turn the money over to the insurers. The
total loss was $9,120.28.00. Hamilton paid restitution to Montgomery
Insurance and Bonding prior to charges being filed.
In imposing the sentence, Judge Ann S. Harrington
took into consideration Hamilton’s cooperation with her former employer in tracking
down the defalcations and the payment of restitution. The Court
also noted the insidious nature of the crime, the fact that most
clients bilked were Hispanic and Hamilton’s prior record
required that punishment be imposed.
“Because of the extensive harm caused by licensed agents
who steal from their clients, the Office of the Attorney General
will continue to vigorously prosecute those who breach the trust
of their clients and the citizens of the State,” Attorney
General Curran said.