Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice has announced that a Jericho man has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies after allegedly stealing more than $648,000 in insurance premiums from a client and spending the money on country club memberships, luxury car payments, and gambling trips.
Joseph Koch, 54, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 30 by DA investigators and charged with three counts of grand larceny in the second degree, grand larceny in the third degree, and scheme to defraud in the first degree. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted and was arraigned in First District Court, Hempstead.
Rice said that between June 2009 and June 2011, Koch, then the president of The Louis Koch Insurance Agencies, Inc. in Baldwin, was paid more than $648,000 in insurance premiums by a commercial property management company. Instead of using that money to pay various insurance companies for which he was acting as their agent, however, Koch stole the money for himself, Rice said.
Koch used the stolen money to make purchases at retail stores, pay for country club memberships, Mercedes Benz car payments, gambling trips, mortgage payments, and his income taxes, Rice continued.
“Mr. Koch’s theft left his client without coverage and facing potentially serious liability issues, but all he cared about was living the high life on somebody else’s dime,” Rice said. “It’s unimaginable that he thought he could get away with so brazenly flaunting the theft of more than a half million dollars.”
The case was referred to the district attorney’s office by the New York State Department of Insurance, which is now part of the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the two agencies.
“The defendant in this case used a position of trust to cheat an innocent client,” said Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of financial services. “The Department of Financial Services is committed to combating crimes like this which victimize innocent people and undermine the integrity of the insurance industry. I applaud District Attorney Rice for her efforts in bringing this defendant to justice.”
Assistant District Attorney Peter Mancuso of the Government & Consumer Frauds Bureau is prosecuting the case for the DA’s office. Koch is represented by Stacy Eves, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.