For Immediate Release - January 19, 2011

Employee of Insurance Brokerage Company Arraigned, Pleads Guilty and Sentenced in Connection with Defrauding Insurance Companies and Policy Holders of More Than $43,000

BOSTON - An employee of a Winthrop insurance brokerage company pled guilty at arraignment in connection with defrauding insurance companies and policy holders of more than $43,000, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced.

Richard Coscia, Jr., age 32, of Winthrop, pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges of Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud (11 counts), Larceny Over $250 (11 counts), and Larceny Under $250 (3 counts). Following the guilty plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank Gaziano sentenced Coscia, Jr. to two years probation and ordered him to pay restitution.

"This defendant deliberately defrauded policyholders and insurance companies often leaving unknowing customers uninsured," said AG Coakley.

Between 2007 and 2009, Coscia, Jr. perpetrated a scheme in which he defrauded insurance companies and policy holders by collecting insurance premiums that policy holders owed to insurers and retaining this money instead of passing it on to the insurers. The Attorney General's Office began an investigation after Coscia Jr.'s activities were initially investigated and referred by the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts (IFB).

Coscia, Jr. worked for Coscia Insurance Agency (Coscia Insurance) in Winthrop. Consumers obtained insurance, usually for their motor vehicles, through Coscia Insurance. Each month consumers provided Coscia, Jr. with premium amounts that they owed to insurers. Coscia, Jr. kept all or part of this money instead of passing it on to the insurers. To help perpetuate the scheme, Coscia, Jr. created and submitted fraudulent records to insurers to make it appear that consumers owed less money to the insurers. In some of these instances consumers' insurance policies were cancelled and they were unknowingly left uninsured. In other instances, consumers paid Coscia, Jr. money to obtain insurance policies for them and Coscia, Jr. retained the funds and never obtained insurance policies for the consumers at all.

As a result of the scheme, Coscia Jr. defrauded insurance companies and policyholders of more than $43,000.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Coscia on January 6, 2011. Coscia was arraigned yesterday in Suffolk Superior Court at which time he entered a plea of guilty and was ordered to serve probation and pay restitution.

AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division works to protect consumers and the integrity of the insurance system by investigating and prosecuting those who commit fraud against all types of insurers, including the Commonwealth's unemployment insurance and workers' compensation system. The prosecution of insurance fraud helps prevent the increase in premiums and taxes that are the result of fraudulent insurance claims. In 2010 the Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division obtained over $800,000 in restitution orders in 30 matters.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Brendan O'Shea of AG Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division. The IFB assisted in the case.