TRENTON, NJ – Kevin Collins, 58, of Union was sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing more than $926,000 from the annuity accounts and insurance policies of an elderly man whose finances he managed according to a statement from Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP).
In July, Collins pleaded guilty to second-degree theft by unlawful taking. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Collins paid $50,000 in restitution to the victim at his sentencing before Judge Scott J. Moynihan in Union County Superior Court last week. Collins had previously executed a Consent Judgment for the balance of the restitution, $876,455. At sentencing, Judge Daniel called Collins “treacherous’ for his stealing from the elderly man whom he met through mutual friends.
Collins and the elderly man regularly golfed and went out for drinks together. Collins also assisted in driving him to hospital visits, as well as looking after his finances, according to the press release.
“This defendant earned himself this significant prison sentence by stealing from a vulnerable elderly man who trusted him as a friend,” said Attorney General Porrino. “His incarceration should serve as a warning that serious consequences await anyone who steals from New Jersey’s senior citizens.”
“Collins has learned the hard way that the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will not tolerate financial abuse of the elderly,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Christopher Iu. “We will investigate and prosecute perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.”
In pleading guilty, Collins admitted that between 2009 and 2015 he withdrew monies from the elderly man’s annuities and life insurance policies. According to the statement from the Attorney General’s Office, the victim was alerted by one of the insurance companies about certain withdrawals of which he was unaware. Collins turned himself in and admitted his wrongdoing.
Deputy Attorney General Dennis Kwasnik represented the state at the plea hearing. Detective Janet Amberg coordinated the investigation. Ronald Ricci, of Ricci & Fava, LLC, represented Kevin Collins at sentencing.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Iu noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site atwww.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.