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James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 9/30/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EX-CLAIMS EXAMINER SENTENCED TO THREE TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON FOR STEALING NEARLY $500,000

An insurance claims examiner was sentenced Wednesday to three to nine years in prison for stealing nearly $500,000 from two insurance companies for which she worked by forging and cashing claims checks over a 10-year period.

Lisa Kline was sentenced after pleading guilty to second degree grand larceny in Albany County Court. She was also ordered to make $474,000 in restitution. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John Czajka.

Kline, 42, an insurance company claims examiner, was arrested in July after a bank clerk noticed her depositing an unusual number of checks bearing other peoples’ signatures into her personal account.

A joint investigation by the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau and Colonie police found that Kline created fake claims numbers to issue supplemental payments to policyholders with legitimate claims. She would then forge claimants’ signatures and countersign the checks instead of mailing them to policyholders.

The scheme was carried out when Kline was employed by Progressive Insurance Company between 2000 and 2006 and then later when she worked for Mercury Insurance Company.

Court action is still pending against two others also charged in the scheme. They are April Martin, 37, of Colonie, and Harry Mercado, 36, of Albany.

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