TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (“OIFP”) announced that a Georgia man was sentenced to three years in State prison today for receiving $335,000 stolen from the insurance annuity policies of a New Jersey man.
Officials say Samuel Ogunremi, 59, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, must also pay restitution to New York Life Insurance Company (“NYL”) under the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan in Bergen County today.
According to a statement released by NJ state officials, in May, Ogunremi pleaded guilty to second-degree receiving stolen property and admitted he knowingly received funds stolen from a New Jersey man’s fixed annuity policies into a Georgia bank account he shared with his company Spare Investment LLC.
“Financial crimes like this can devastate individuals relying on their insurance annuities to support them in their later years,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The prison sentence handed down today demonstrates New Jersey’s commitment to protecting the financial investments of our hardworking residents.”
“This defendant has learned the hard way that accepting stolen insurance funds isn’t a path to easy money, it’s a path to prison,” said Tracy M. Thompson, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. “My office will investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable criminals who think they can help themselves to the assets belonging to others who spent a lifetime earning them.”
After the case was referred to OIFP by NYL, investigators determined that the New Jersey policyholder had not requested the transfer of the funds.
Video surveillance and transaction records from the bank allegedly show that Ogunremi made withdrawals from the account in transactions conducted at two SunTrust branches in Georgia.
Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Menjivar represented the State at sentencing.
Detective Wendy Berg coordinated the investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson thanks New York Life Insurance Company for their assistance in this case.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.