A 58-year-old Union County insurance salesman pleaded guilty Friday to stealing almost $1 million by illicitly withdrawing from an elderly friend’s life insurance policies and annuities, authorities said.
Acting Attorney General Christopher Porrino said that the insurance salesman, Kevin Collins, admitted to stealing from his friend’s accounts between 2009 and 2015 without that friend’s knowledge or permission.
The Attorney General said that the elderly victim and Collins met through mutual friends. They regularly played golf together and even went out for drinks often. Their “friendship” was such that Collins would even drive his “friend” to the hospital and was allowed to manage his friend’s finances.
The victim only later learned of the thefts when one of his insurers holding one of his policies informed him of the suspicious withdrawals, Porrino noted.
When confronted with the theft allegations, Collins surrendered to authorities and admitted his crime.
"What makes this crime particularly disgraceful is that Kevin Collins not only stole the savings of a vulnerable elderly man, he victimized someone who trusted him as a friend," Porrino remarked in a press release. "Collins repaid that trust by stealing the finances he was supposed to be managing for his so-called buddy."
The indicted insurance salesman revealed to Superior Court Judge William Daniel in Elizabeth that he unlawfully pocketed $926,455.
Porrino said that when Collins is sentenced on Sept. 2, lawyers from the New Jersey Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor will recommend an eight-year prison term for the salesman. The Office will also demand that Collins repay the money he stole from his friend, reported NJ.com
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