New York State
James J. Wrynn Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
|ISSUED 11/24/2009||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
A former insurance agent who changed the addresses on his customer's life insurance policies so he could embezzle $109,000 was arrested Thursday.
Jian Zhang was arrested by the Special Prosecutions Division of the office of Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown following an investigation by the New York State Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau.
Zhang, 50, of Elm Ave., Flushing, is accused of changing the addresses of customers so that mail in connection with their policies could be sent to his home address in Queens. Then he submitted loan requests against the life insurance policies and cashed checks for the money when he received them in the mail.
Ten insurance policyholders were victimized. Some of their accounts were targeted multiple times. The investigation revealed that Zhang arranged to have money paid to him in amounts ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.
A former MetLife agent, Zhang endorsed and cashed a total of 29 checks diverted to his home address between 2007 and earlier this year. The scheme was uncovered after the insurance company noticed the large number of address changes and looked into the accounts. Zhang was then fired.
Zhang was charged with second degree forgery and grand larceny. He could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
A hearing will be scheduled in Queens County Court. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Rosemary Buccieri.