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Officials Detail Alleged Insurance Scam: Investigators Say 32 People Lost Money; More Allegations Expected

Aug 27, 2007

By Dan Higgins, Albany Times Union, N.Y.

Aug. 28--State Insurance Department officials said Monday they had identified 32 victims of a broker who allegedly pocketed $7,000 in premium payments from customers in Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties.

But investigators believe more victims may come forward.

Jill M. Morrill, 43, worked at Pro-Vu Best Insurance Co. in South Glens Falls and was arrested last month by Saratoga County sheriff's investigators. She was charged with felony counts of fraud and grand larceny. The Glens Falls resident is free on her own recognizance pending court proceedings, officials said.

Morrill is accused of stealing cash payments customers made for insurance premiums. Most of the victims were paying auto insurance, but in two cases customers made payments on business insurance premiums. The thefts occurred over a 12-month period beginning in July 2006, investigators said.

The larcenies were discovered when customers complained their policies were being canceled for nonpayment and their car registrations or licenses were being suspended. In one case, a customer's car was impounded by police for being uninsured. Managers at Pro-Vu, where Morrill, a licensed insurance broker, worked for eight years, called police.

Morrill's employer is not accused of any wrongdoing, and the agency restored insurance policies to customers who had been victimized, officials said.

Jaclyn Oreshan, an investigator with the Insurance Department's Fraud Bureau, said she suspects there may be other victims. Those who believe they may have been victims should call the Insurance Department's consumer services hot line at (800) 342-3736.

Dan Higgins can be reached at 454-5523, or by e-mail at dhiggins@timesunion.com.

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Copyright (c) 2007, Albany Times Union, N.Y.

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