FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Brooklyn Woman Indicted for Allegedly
Stealing over $23,000 from Insurance Company
Falsely Claimed Insured Jewelry was Lost or Stolen;
Presented Company with False Receipts for Replacement Jewels
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo, today announced that a Brooklyn woman has been charged with grand larceny and related counts for allegedly stealing over $23,000 and attempting to steal an additional $24,500 from Jewelers Mutual Insurance. The investigation commenced following an anonymous tip to the insurance company.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. False claims such as those allegedly committed by this defendant are responsible for driving up the premiums of honest consumers, not to mention notable losses for this insurance company which issued these policies in good faith. We will now seek to hold her accountable for her actions.”
Superintendent Vullo said, “The Department of Financial Services is committed to protecting consumers by rooting out insurance fraud and bringing perpetrators who commit these types of scams to justice. I applaud the dedicated work of our insurance investigators and appreciate the opportunity to have worked on this case with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Daniela Richardson, 32, of Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alexander Jeong on a nine- count indictment in which she is charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree attempted grand larceny, third-degree insurance fraud and first-degree falsifying business records. She was ordered to return to court on May 3, 2017. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The Acting District Attorney said that the defendant allegedly filed three fraudulent claims between October 20, 2012 and September 15, 2014 falsely alleging the theft or loss of jewelry insured in three separate Jewelers Mutual Insurance policies.
It is alleged that on January 9, 2012, Richardson made an online purchase of a one-year insurance policy from JMI using a Visa credit card in her name. The policy covered “the repair and replacement with like kind and quality” of three items: a ring, a pair of earrings and a white gold pendant.
On October 23, 2012 to January 7, 2013, Richardson filed a claim with JMI alleging that she had been robbed of the three pieces of jewelry. She submitted to JMI a purported bill from Wonderland Jewelry, in the Bronx, in the amount of $10,944 for the cost of replacement jewelry. She also included a signed and notarized statement alleging that she had been robbed. On January 9, 2013, JMI issued a $9,944.08 check payable to Wonderland Jewelry as reimbursement for the replacement items (less the $1,000 deductible). On January 18, 2013, the check was deposited into Richardson’s bank account.
On January 9, 2012, JMI issued a one-year replacement policy for a yellow gold chain with a diamond and a diamond ring to an individual who had a relationship with Richardson, paid for with the same Visa card as the previous claim, but with a different cardholders name. The policy was renewed for another year on January 10, 2013. Between June 12, 2013 and October 21, 2013, Richardson caused a claim to be filed alleging that the jewelry had been left in a taxi. An invoice purporting to be from Blue Diamond Jewelry for the replacement of the jewels was also submitted, along with a signed and notarized letter attesting to the loss. On October 29, 2013, JMI issued a check to Blue Diamond in the amount of $13,296 to cover the cost of the replaced jewelry. The check was deposited in Richardson’s account on November 14, 2013.
Finally, on January 3, 2014, JMI issued a one-year replacement value policy in the name of a second individual with a relationship to Richardson. That policy covered a diamond engagement ring and was secured by Visa cards associated with Richardson. Between July 9, 2014 and September 26, 2014, Richardson caused a claim for $24,500 to be filed with JMI alleging the loss of the diamond ring. In support of the claim she submitted two signed and notarized letters. JMI declined to pay this claim after receiving an anonymous tip that all three claims were fraudulent. The company launched an investigation and referred the case to DFS, who then referred it to KCDA for prosecution.
The investigation was conducted by a Senior Investigator of the Department of Financial Services, Detective Adrienne D. Jones, of the NYPD Kings County District Attorney’s Office Squad, and with the assistance of Inspector Joseph Marcus of the United States Postal Inspection Service.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Paul Wooten of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Dana Roth, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.