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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 03/14/2008 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

EX-INSURANCE BROKER SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME, RESTITUTION

A 43-year-old former insurance broker was sentenced on Monday to spend weekends in jail for three months for stealing $9,000 in insurance premiums from 49 people in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties.

Jill M. Morrill, of 19-1/2 Garner St., Glens Falls, was sentenced by Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry Scarano after pleading guilty to insurance fraud. She was also ordered to make restitution, some of which has already been paid.

“You deserve more jail than what I am imposing, but I am imposing less so that you stay employed. I need to be mindful of the victims’ right to restitution,” Judge Scarano said, telling her she could be re-sentenced if she fails to meet the terms of her sentencing.

“This case demonstrates that insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. The lives of 49 people were turned upside down by this individual’s misconduct and she damaged the reputation of a small, locally-owned business in the community,” Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo said.

“This was a complicated case because of the number of victims. I am grateful for the Insurance Department’s aggressive efforts to help identify the victims and repair the damage done to their lives. The Department’s Special Prosecutor program was vital in giving us the added resources to investigate this case and make the victim’s whole,” Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said.

Morrill was arrested in July after customers of the South Glens Falls insurance agency where she was employed complained that their insurance policies were being cancelled for not paying premiums. The agency contacted the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department when it learned Morrill had not turned over cash she was given for premium payments.

Some customers had their car registrations or driver’s licenses suspended because their insurance had lapsed. The cars of several people were towed and one person’s car was impounded when police found it uninsured. In addition, several people were arrested and jailed for driving without insurance.

At Morrill’s sentencing, the owner of Pro-Vu Insurance, the agency where she had been employed, said his company suffered the loss of 20 percent of its business as a result of her actions. The Insurance Department revoked Morrill’s insurance broker’s license in January.

Following her arrest by Saratoga County Sheriffs, Morrill admitted stealing customer premiums for auto insurance over a 12-month period beginning in July 2006. Two cases involved the theft of business insurance premiums.

The District Attorney’s Crime Victims Unit and the Insurance Department’s Frauds and Consumer Services Bureaus were brought into the investigation and District Attorney Murphy appointed William Andrews, an attorney with the Frauds Bureau, as a special prosecutor.

In addition to helping to identify victims, these resources were required to audit accounts and help victims reverse the auto registration and license suspensions that occurred when insurance companies cancelled policies because premiums had not been paid.

Other Insurance Department personnel who worked on the case included Frauds Bureau Investigator Jaclyn M. Oreshan, and Tom McDermott and Ni Made S. Utari of the Consumer Services Bureau.

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