New York State
Insurance Department


ISSUED: 9/25/2002

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW YORK STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT TAKES DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST COMPANIES, AGENTS, BROKERS & ADJUSTERS

          The New York State Insurance Department has taken disciplinary action against the following licensees. Those categorized as stipulations have been agreed to by the licensee. Department actions that result from Department hearings are subject to judicial review and possible stay of enforcement.

INSURANCE COMPANIES

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Allcity Insurance Company 335 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY
$3,500 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by exceeding the maximum number of private passenger automobile non-renewals permitted.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Empire Insurance Company 335 Adams Street
Brooklyn, NY
$44,625 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by exceeding the maximum number of private passenger automobile non-renewals permitted.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
First Citicorp Life Insurance Company 333 West 34th Street
New York, NY
$100,000 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by failing to facilitate the examination; failing to maintain its books of account and complete minutes of its board of directors meetings at its principal office in this state; and failing to maintain records subject to examination by the Superintendent for six years from the data of creation or until after the filing of a report on examination.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
First SunAmerica Life Insurance Company 733 Third Avenue
New York, NY
$25,000 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by receiving services under agreements with affiliates without notifying the Superintendent, failing to maintain the advertising file at the company’s home office; failing to indicate the manner and extent of distribution in the advertising file; failing to appoint agents to represent the Company and by paying commissions to agents who were not appointed; and failing to require a completed disclosure statement for applicants involving replacements; and by using unapproved policy forms.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
First United American Life Insurance Company 1020 Seventh North Street
Suite 130
Liverpool, NY
$45,000 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by receiving services from affiliates not provided for in a filed service agreements and by not following the provisions of filed service agreements; by failing to maintain a complete advertising file at its home office; by failing to substantiate the use of terms such as "low cost" to describe the cost of the life insurance product being advertised; by using advertisements that failed to include an asterisk or other symbol following all references to a reduced initial premium rate that refers the reader to the full rate schedule of the policy being advertised; and by issuing policies on minors in excess of the limited allowed by law.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America 7 Hanover Square
New York, NY
$50,000 fine
Respondents violated Department Regulation 60 by failing to have a completed "Definition of Replacement" form signed by the applicant and agent in all cases; by failing to date the "Definition of Replacement" forms; by failing to maintain application and claim files; and violated the terms of the Department stipulation dated January 3, 2000 in that Respondents failed to maintain many of its files pertaining to policy surrenders in a manner which would permit Department examiners to determine the dates of receipt of surrender documents and dates of communications and transactions.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Homeland Insurance Company of New York
(Formerly Known as GA Insurance Company of New York)
One Beacon Street
Boston, MA
$1,750 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by exceeding the maximum number of private passenger automobile non-renewals permitted.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Metropolitan General Insurance Company 700 Quaker Lane
Warwick, RI
$3,000 fine
Respondent violated Department Regulation 79 by failing to retain the mandatory inspection report that should be retained by the insurer in the insured’s policy record for six years from the date of inspection.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Metropolitan Group Property & Casualty Insurance Company 700 Quaker Lane
Warwick, RI
$3,000 fine
Respondent violated Department Regulation 79 by failing to retain the mandatory inspection report that should be retained by the insurer in the insured’s policy record for six years from the date of inspection.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Newark Insurance Company 999 Stewart Avenue
Bethpage, NY
$8,750 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by exceeding the maximum number of private passenger automobile non-renewals permitted.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
New York Life Insurance Company 51 Madison Avenue
New York, NY
$20,000 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by allowing certain agents who were not appointed as agents for the company to sell the company’s polices; failing to include the manner and extent of distribution and a copy of each advertisement in its advertising file; by using the word "free" "no cost" or, words of similar import in its advertising for some of its life insurance riders; and by failing to pay interest on 83 New York group death claims at the company’s interest settlement option rate.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Oxford Health Plans (NY), Inc. 48 Monroe Turnpike
Trumbull, CT
$150,000 fine
Respondent failed to provide a good faith response in a timely fashion to requests for information from the Superintendent in connection with an investigation relating to HMO coverage and health insurance within the time period specified by the Superintendent.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Union Labor Life Insurance Company 111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
$50,000 fine
Respondent violated the Insurance Law by failing to provide notice to the Superintendent 30 days prior to transactions with members of its holding company system which exceeded one-half of one percent of its prior year admitted assets; by paying agents and general agents commissions in excess of the first year limitations; and by delivering policy forms in New York State that were not filed with and approved by the Superintendent.

 

-AGENTS AND BROKER HEARINGS –

Region: Westchester

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Michael A. Crispo
(Agent)
70 Parkway North
Yonkers, NY
License Revoked
Respondent demonstrated untrustworthiness by submitting 11 applications for life insurance policies which had not been requested.

 

Region: Buffalo

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
William A. Gambee, Jr.
(Public Adjuster)
8393 Erie Road
Angola, NY
$750 fine
Applicant executed an application to be licensed as an independent adjuster. As part of the application, Applicant answered in the negative when asked if he had been convicted in any criminal action. An investigation revealed that there were 2 criminal convictions on January 29, 1983.

 

Region: Nassau

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Jeffrey Cohen
(Agent)
686 Port Washington Boulevard
Port Washington, NY
$1,500 fine
Respondent submitted a licensing application dated June 16, 1999 to the Department in which he responded in the negative to the question " have you ever been convicted in any criminal action?" On June 21, 2000, Respondent submitted another licensing application in which that question was answered in the affirmative. Respondent had a prior conviction for Attempted Insurance Fraud and had paid a fine and made restitution to the insurer.

 

Region: New York City

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Jang Lim
(Agent)
72nd Drive, #B16
Forest Hills, NY
License revoked
Respondent changed the address of record of his client in order to process unauthorized loans against his whole life insurance policy; he initiated loan requests and forged his client’s signature to receive loan checks totaling $15,000 taken out of the cash value of his client’s policy; and he endorsed the checks by forging his client’s signature. Respondent’s misappropriation and conversion of his client’s monies was done without the knowledge or consent of his client who did not desire to borrow against the policy’s cash value. Respondent failed to reply to all letters from the Department requesting an explanation.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Daniel Echevarria
(Broker)
37-65A 80th Street
Jackson Heights, NY
License revoked
Respondent hampered and impeded a Department investigation into licensee reinstatement issues pending with the New York Automobile Insurance Plan. Respondent falsely informed the Department that his certification had been reinstated by the New York Automobile Insurance Plan .

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Four Wheels Agency LTD
And

Karin E. Gorga
(Sublicensee)
71-32A Main Street
Flushing, NY

137-51 75th Road
Flushing, NY
License revoked


License revoked
Respondents violated their fiduciary obligation to return timely premium monies belonging to their client. After Respondents failed to properly account for the monies received on behalf of their clients for an appropriate two year period, the insurer had to pay the refund to the insureds a second time. Respondents failed to cooperate of the Department’s investigation.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
GEM Brokerage Ltd
And


Cheri A. Ryan
(Sublicensee)
519 West 27th Street
New York, NY

Same as above
Licensed revoked


License revoked
Respondent accepted premium monies from an insured without remitting same to the insurer or properly accounting for it and failed to cooperate with the Department’s investigation.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Eduardo Herrera
(Broker)
37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY
License revoked
Respondent collected a deposit and installments of premium monies from his client for automobile insurance which he failed to timely remit which caused the insurer to cancel the insurance policy and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to suspend the insurer’s driver license. Respondent was fined in August 8, 2000 for a similar violation.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
I Plus Agency Corp.

And
Wai H. Fong
(Sublicensee)
11 East Broadway, Ste. 4-C
New York, NY

Same as above

License revoked


License revoked

Respondents issued seven checks drawn on their premium trust account, that were dishonored by the bank. The checks were subsequently replaced or otherwise made good. Respondent Sublicensee, on behalf of Corporate Respondent, issued 22 checks, drawn on its premium trust account for purposes other than payment of premiums to an insurer, refunds to an insured, or withdrawal of commissions to a operating account. Respondent Sublicensee falsely stated that he had not consented to become a Sublicensee of the Corporate Respondent.

 

Agent & Broker Stipulations

Region: Albany

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Salvatore A. Falco, Sr.
(Adjuster)
1452 Wendell Avenue
Schenectady, NY
$500 fine
Respondent on his original license application answered in the negative to the question "…have you ever been convicted in any criminal action?", when in fact, he pled guilty to Assault in the 3rd Degree in 1968.

 

Region: Binghamton

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Granite Capital Holdings, Inc.
And


John J. Mirabito
(Sublicensee)
39-45 Main Street
PO. Box 2128
Sidney, NY

c/o Mang Assoc.
75 Main Street
Sidney, NY

$5,000 fine
In connection with the sale of key man life policies to Respondent’s Granite officers and their spouses, Respondents exceeded the 10% limit on aggregate net commissions under the Insurance Law, and violated the Insurance law through the rebating of premium to Respondent Granite in connection with the purchase of a key man life insurance policies.

 

Region: Buffalo

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Peter A. Johnson
(Agent)
34 Woodward Drive
West Seneca, NY
$1,500 fine
Respondent signed the names of the six owners of a life insurance policy to an amendment to the application for the policy, without the owners having given Respondent permission to sign their names or having any knowledge that Respondent has signed their names.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
James Vazquez
(Agent)
c/o MONY Life Insurance Company
600 Essjay Road
Williamsville, NY
$10,000 fine
Respondent filled out and submitted 10 applications for annuity policies to life insurance companies that incorrectly stated the dates of birth of the applicants.

 

Region: New York City

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Leopold A. Gonzalez
(Agent)
38th Street #2D
Long Island City, NY
$1,500 fine
Respondent failed to disclose that he had prior criminal convictions for violations of narcotics law.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Angel D. Guzman
(Broker)
c/o Astro Driving Schoool
94-14A 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY
$1,000 fine
Respondent commingled funds in the premium account causing the account to reach a negative balance; and Respondent issued a check for purposes of transmitting an insurance premium payment which was dishonored by the bank upon which drawn.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Jean D. Marcellus
(Broker)
914 E. 77th Street
1st Floor
Brooklyn, NY
$1,250 fine
Respondent issued four insurance premium payment transmittal checks, totaling $658.52, that were dishonored by the bank upon which drawn and were subsequently replaced; commingled his insurance premium account by paying personal and business expenses using premium funds; and operated his insurance business using the name ‘Encore Services’, an entity not known or licensed by the Department.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Mateo Corp.
And

Plinio Mateo
(Sublicensee)

811 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY

834 Broadway
2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY

$500 fine
Respondents issued six insurance premium transmittal checks totaling $3,390.10, that were dishonored by the bank upon which drawn but were subsequently replaced.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Ledwin Enterprises, Inc.

And

Ledwin E. Oviedo
(Sublicensee)

2153 Grand Concourse
Bronx, NY


6555 Broadway
Apt. 3E
Bronx, NY

$3,000 fine
Respondents issued two insurance premium checks totaling $385 that were dishonored by the bank upon which drawn, but were subsequently replaced; for the same period, the Respondents commingled their premium account by paying personal and business expenses using premium monies.

 

Region: Suffolk

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
B.T. D. Coverages, Inc.
And

Robert L. Ellis
(Sublicensee)

826 New York Avenue
Huntington, NY

Same as above

$2,500 fine
Respondent issued 36 checks totaling $8,114.99 for purposes of transmitting insurance premium payments which, though subsequently replaced, were dishonored by the bank; and commingled funds in the B.T.D. Coverages, Inc. premium account. Two premium accounts, maintained by Respondent B.T.D. Coverages, were overdrawn on numerous occasions. Respondent Robert L. Ellis, issued two Certificates of Insurance that incorrectly identified an insurer that had not authorized the issuance of such certificates.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
DFAC, Inc.
And

David Fatizzo
(Sublicensee)

1355-K Montauk Highway
Mastic, NY

Same as above

$2,500 fine
Respondents issued 120 insurance premium transmittal checks or electronic premium payments, totaling $22,300.45 that were dishonored by the bank upon which drawn but were subsequently replaced. For the same period they commingled their insurance premium account by paying personal and/or business expenses using premium monies.

 

Region: Out of State

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
B.F. Cassin Insurance Agency, Inc.
And


B. Bradley Cassin
(Sublicensee)

And

Elizabeth Cassin
(Sublicensee)

75 Broad Street
PO Box 40
Westfield, MA

Same as above

 


Same as above

$1,000 fine
Sublicensees responded affirmatively to a bankruptcy question on the original application to act as a broker under the Insurance Law indicating all arrearages to creditors had been fully satisfied when in fact they had not been.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Ronald C. Goldberg
(Agent)
4960 Lazio Way
Oak Park, CA
$500 fine
Respondent on his original license application answered in the negative to the question "Have you…ever been insolvent or adjudged a bankrupt?" , when in fact he was adjudged a bankrupt in December 1998.

 

LICENSEE ADDRESS PENALTY
Martha Rodriquez
(Broker)
t/b/a
M.R. Services
PO Box 2152
Matthews, NC

Same as above

$1,250 fine
Respondent issued a check drawn on the premium trust account of M.R. Services in the amount of $563.52 payable to SCR Premium Budget Corporation, a licensed Premium Finance Agency, which was dishonored by the bank upon drawn but was subsequently replaced. Respondent failed to respond to any of the Department’s communications concerning the SCR complaint.

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