AG Gansler: Former Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Misappropriation
New Jersey surety bond agent kept premiums meant for underwriter
Baltimore, MD ( July 18, 2013) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that former insurance agent Teresa E. Williams, 42, of Morristown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in Prince George's County Circuit Court to one count of misappropriation by a fiduciary. While working as an agent selling surety bonds for International Fidelity Insurance Company (IFIC), Williams kept premium money she owed to IFIC. Judge C. Philip Nichols sentenced Williams to five years incarceration, all of which was suspended, plus five years probation, 100 hours of community service and Williams, who had previously repaid $10,000, was ordered to pay an additional $28,035.60 in restitution.
"Insurance agents manage the cash and insurance coverage of others and hold a position of trust," said Attorney General Gansler. "When that trust is violated for personal gain and an innocent client is exposed to great harm, those responsible will face the consequences."
The investigation revealed that Williams received $38,035.60 from Prestige Construction Company, a Virginia business, over the period of August 2007 through July 2009, which Williams kept.
Surety bonds are a form of insurance in which the insurer guarantees a contractor will satisfactorily complete a construction project for a third party. The contractor pays premiums to an agent who sends the money to the insurance company. The insurance company then guarantees the contractor's work to the third party.
In making the announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Benjamin A. Harris and former investigator Homer Pennington for their work on the case, and the Maryland State Police for their assistance.