By Ogozi John
The former CEO and owner of an Hartford, CT-based insurance agency has been convicted on multiple charges of fraud.
According to the US Attorney’s office, Earl O’Garro Jr., 32, formerly of Marlborough, was convicted by a federal jury in Hartford for defrauding a specialty lender, insurance carriers and the State of Connecticut.
O’Garro was facing three counts in a federal charge that consisted of two counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud. After one hour of deliberations, the jury found him guilty on all three counts.
According to court documents, O’Garro who was the president, chief executive officer and owner of Hybrid Insurance Agency in Hartford, engaged in a scheme that defrauded Capital Premium Financing, a lender that provides premium financing on behalf of insured entities.
In April 2013, O’Garro made false representations to Capital Premium Financing that an insurance carrier, AmTrust E&S Insurance Services had issued insurance policies for four companies who were using Capital Premium Financing’s services to finance their premium payments, and that Hybrid was entitled to collect premiums on behalf of AmTrust.
But O’Garro knew that AmTrust did not issue any policies for those companies, and relying on the false information, Capital Premium Financing released premiums totaling $849,282.55 to Hybrid on the purported insurance policies, all of which O’Garro converted for personal use.
To further sustain the scheme, O’Garro created an email address and internet domain name similar to that of AmTrust, which he then used to pose as an AmTrust underwriter that sent out fake emails verifying the existence of the four policies.
Hybrid was also the wholesale broker for some insurance policies held by the City of Hartford. In July 2013, O’Garro directed the city to transfer $868,244 in premiums to Hybrid, from which he withheld $669,997 in premium payments from excess insurance carries, Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, Inc. and National Casualty Company, which he converted for his personal use. After about 17 minutes after receiving the funds, O’Garro wired $300,000 to Capitol Premium Financing as partial repayment for the money he stole. O’Garro then falsely advised the city that the premium payments had been remitted to the insurers.
“The defendant took advantage of friends and associates in the insurance industry to support a lifestyle he couldn’t afford,” said U.S. Attorney Deidre Daly in a release.
The Jury also found that in July 2013, O’Garro, on behalf of Hybrid, used false information in applying for a $500,000 from the state of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, $250,000 was approved by the DECD and mailed to Hybrid.
O’Garro used a large part of these funds to make payment on a million-dollar condominium he had purchased in the Dominican Republic and to pay tuition at his children’s private school.
Since his arrest last November, O’Garro has been out on a $500,000 bond and is being tracked via electronic monitoring while awaiting sentencing on March 7, 2016.
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