- Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L.
McKoy announced that the president of
a Middlesex County insurance agency has
pleaded guilty to stealing more than $474,000
in premium finance monies that were to
be directed to his company’s clients.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
Greta Gooden Brown, Rodger Strandskov,
53, a licensed insurance agent, of Springwood
Court, Princeton, Mercer County, pleaded
guilty before Middlesex County Superior
Court Judge Frederick P. DeVesa to a criminal
Accusation which charged two counts of
theft by failure to make required disposition
of property received (2nd degree). When
sentenced on Jan. 6, 2006, Strandskov
faces up to 20 years in state prison and
a fine of up to $300,000. Strandskov may
also face civil insurance fraud fines.
In addition, the matter will be referred
to the Department of Banking and Insurance
for appropriate action with respect to
Strandskov’s insurance agent license.
At the guilty plea hearing, Strandskov
admitted that, in his capacity as president
of Eastern Insurance Agency, which operated
in Kendall Park, Middlesex County, he
failed to remit premium finance money
to insurance companies and instead used
the money for his own purposes. The money
was to pay for insurance policies sold
through his agency and provided by AMGRO
Financing. Insurance premium financing
occurs when an insurance customer, in
this case commercial trucking companies,
borrows money from a lender to purchase
the required commercial trucking insurance.
An investigation by the Division of Criminal
Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
determined that, as a result of the theft,
more than a dozen customers’ policies
were terminated earlier than expected.
The investigation further revealed that
Strandskov failed to return more than
$134,500 in borrowed premiums from 14
insurance customers whose policies had
been prematurely terminated.
While the investigation determined that
Strandskov had stolen more than $1 million
in premium finance money, he paid back
more than $500,000 prior to pleading guilty.
Therefore, Strandskov admitted that he
stole approximately $474,289 from or due
to AMGRO Premium Finance Company.
State Investigator Scott Caponi and Deputy
Attorney General Lewis J. Korngut were
assigned to the investigation into this
case. DAG Korngut represented the Division
of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance
Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.