|Copyright:||A.M. Best Company, Inc.|
A New York City insurance agent has been sentenced to three years in state prison for attempting to defraud two insurers in a scheme involving applications for multimillion-dollar life insurance policies, New Jersey officials said.
In April, Pape Michael Seck pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree insurance fraud before Hudson County, N.J. Superior Court Judge Joseph V. Isabella.
The investigation by the N.J. Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor showed Seck, acting as an insurance agent, applied for life insurance policies from Prudential Life Insurance Co. and Aviva Life Insurance Co. in the amount of $7 million each (BestWire, April 14, 2010).
Isabella on June 7 sentenced Seck to three years in state prison. Seck also was ordered to forfeit his license as an insurance agent in New Jersey and pay a $10,000 civil insurance fraud fine, New Jersey Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor said in a statement.
Seck admitted he submitted false applications to Prudential and Aviva for the policies on behalf of Mansour Seck, listing Pape Seck as Mansour Seck’s son and the beneficiary under the policies. However, his father, whose name is Mansour Seck, didn’t apply for the life insurance, nor did anyone by that name.
In filing the applications, the defendant also used identifying information, including a Social Security number, from two other real people named Mansour Seck, the investigation showed. One is a retired dignitary from Senegal in Africa and the other a New Jersey resident.
Mansour Seck is a common name in the country of Senegal (BestWire, April 14, 2010).
Neither insurance company issued a policy.
Aviva USA earlier said it “takes seriously any attempts to defraud our company and cooperated fully with this investigation.” Aviva USA is a unit of Aviva plc based in the United Kingdom (BestWire, April 14, 2010).
Prudential Insurance Company of America currently has a Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior). Aviva Life and Annuity Co. currently has a Best’s Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent).
(By Fran Matso Lysiak, senior associate editor, BestWeek: firstname.lastname@example.org)