TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (“OIFP”) announced that a Georgia man pleaded guilty to receiving $335,000 stolen from the insurance annuity policies of a New Jersey man.
Samuel Ogunremi, 59, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to second-degree receiving stolen property in a hearing before Superior Court Judge Frances A. McGrogan in Bergen County on Monday.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, the State will recommend that Ogunremi be sentenced as a third-degree offender to three years in state prison. Ogunremi also will have to pay restitution in the amount of $335,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 14, 2019.
In pleading guilty, Ogunremi admitted to knowingly receiving funds stolen from a New Jersey man’s New York Life Insurance Company’s (“NYL”) fixed annuity policies into a bank account he shared with his company Spare Investment LLC.
“Financial crimes like these are an affront to honest individuals who work hard and save their money to enjoy later in life,” said Attorney General Grewal. “This case sends a message that we will protect the investments of New Jersey residents by continuing to track down and prosecute criminals who illegally access them.”
“The defendant knew fully well that the funds he received in his account were stolen and did not belong to him but he helped himself to them as if they did,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson. “He is now facing the consequence of his arrogance and criminal greed and so will others who follow in his unlawful footsteps.”
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 in the plea hearing.
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.