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Post date: December 5 2005

Auto Insurance Broker Indicted On Charges Of Identity Theft And Grand Larceny

Attorney General Spitzer and State Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills today announced the indictment of a Bronx man who sold insurance policies and stole over $300,000 in insurance commissions by using another man’s name. The 34-count indictment charges defendant Gabriel Feliz, 47, with identity theft, scheme to defraud, grand larceny, forgery, offering a false instrument for filing, falsifying business records, and unlawful duplication of computer related material.

The indictment alleges that the scheme began in 1993 when Feliz first took the state licensing exams on separate dates under his own name and under another man’s name. At the time, the New York State Insurance Department did not photograph test-taking applicants. Feliz placed thousands of policy applications with over 20 insurance companies in the name of the second individual, who had no knowledge of Feliz’ activities.

For more than ten years, Feliz took continuing education courses while pretending to be the other person, periodically renewed the broker’s license that he held in that second person’s name, appeared at Insurance Department disciplinary proceedings as that individual, and appropriated at least $300,000 in commissions that the insurance companies sent to Feliz’ business address in the name of the other individual. It is also alleged that Feliz fraudulently endorsed commission checks made payable to the other person and placed the proceeds into his own business and personal accounts, thereby avoiding payment of taxes on any of the commissions.

Feliz was arraigned before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett and bail was set at $100,000. If convicted of the top count of the indictment, Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a C felony, Feliz faces a maximum sentence of five to fifteen years in prison.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Irwin Weiss, under the supervision of Auto Insurance Fraud Unit Chief Steve Nachman. Confidential Investigator Richard Smith and former Confidential Investigator Angel LaPorte, under the direction of Supervisor Frank Orlando and Deputy Investigations Bureau Chief James Conway, conducted the investigation.