TRENTON – Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced that a former Morris County financial advisor has pleaded guilty to defrauding his parents out of more than $1.3 million while serving as their financial advisor.
Hugh R. Hunsinger, Jr., 49, of Pine Brook, pleaded guilty yesterday (Aug. 6) to a criminal accusation charging him with second-degree theft by unlawful taking before Superior Court Judge Eugene H. Austin in Bergen County.
Judge Austin scheduled sentencing for Oct. 4. Under the plea agreement, the state will recommend that Hunsinger be sentenced to three to five years in state prison and that his insurance producer license be suspended for a period of five years. In addition, Hunsinger agreed to execute a consent judgment in the amount of $1,354,496 in favor of his parents.
“For years, the victims in this case believed that their son was investing money on their behalf,” Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. “Instead, he was siphoning their money for his own benefit. The manner in which this defendant robbed his parents out of more than a million dollars is as offensive as it is reprehensible.”
“This office will continue to prosecute cases such as this one and protect victims, even when, as in this case, the perpetrator is the victims’ son,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.
In pleading guilty, Hunsinger admitted that between Jan. 31, 2005 and July 8, 2011, he systematically transferred approximately $1,354,496 from certain accounts that he was managing on behalf of his parents, without their authorization, to his personal accounts and used the money for his own personal living expenses. Hunsinger worked as a financial advisor for Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation at the time of such transfers. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that, as a result of the unauthorized transfers, Hunsinger’s parents were left with only a nominal amount of money in their accounts.
Deputy Attorney General Michael B. Lestino, Sgt. Anthony Butler and Detectives Natalie Brotherston and Taryn Kong from the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor coordinated the investigation.