October 17, 2011
Former Berks County insurance agent charged with theft of $255,000 in premiums from clients
HARRISBURG ? Agents from the Attorney General?s Insurance Fraud Section have filed criminal charges against a Berks County man accused of the theft of more than $255,000 in insurance premiums.
Attorney General Linda Kelly identified the defendant as Joseph A. Maurer, 58, of 2558 Welsh Road, Mohnton. Maurer owned and operated Commonwealth Professional Group, a former insurance agency located in Reading, Berks County.
According to the criminal complaint, Maurer is accused of taking more than $188,000 in premiums paid by four municipal governments, including Bally Borough and South Heidelberg Township, located in Berks County, along with Salisbury Township in Lehigh County and Earl Township in Lancaster County. The money allegedly paid to Maurer by all four municipalities was supposed to be forwarded to Pennprime Insurance Trust, of Harrisburg, as payment for workers compensation coverage.
Additionally, Maurer allegedly misdirected premium payments for at least five other policies purchased through his agency, totaling in excess of $67,000 that was supposed to be forwarded to Travelers Insurance and ACE American Insurance Company on behalf of various clients.
Maurer is charged with three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.
Maurer was preliminarily arraigned on October 12th before Reading Magisterial District Judge Phyllis J. Kowalski and released on $850,000 unsecured bail. He was also ordered to surrender his passport.
A preliminary hearing for Maurer is scheduled for November 9th, at 1:30 p.m., before Magisterial District Judge Kowalski.
The case will be prosecuted in Berks County by Deputy Attorney General John T. Dickinson of the Attorney General?s Insurance Fraud Section.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty)