Scams Wanted: Insurance Agent, Public Relations Officer, Auto Repair Shop Owner

Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty of Theft

The CEO of a Taunton, Massachusetts insurance company pleaded guilty to stealing $295,278 from local businesses, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office said Friday.

David G. Pietro, 67, of Sandwich and his company, DPG-Miles Insurance Agency, pleaded guilty to five counts of criminal conspiracy in Bristol Superior Court. Judge Daniel O’Shea jailed Pietro for two years and ordered him to do 100 hours of work and pay restitution to his victims. The amount has not yet been determined.

O’Shea also ordered Pietro to surrender his insurance license, which prevents his company from continuing to operate, the Attorney General’s office said.

Prosecutors say Pietro collected the premiums but failed to hand over the money to insurers, leaving customers without coverage. Most of the five victims were small businesses, the bureau said.

The fraudulent scheme resulted in many consumer companies being stripped of their insurance premiums.

LDI Stops Public Adjuster

The Louisiana Department of Insurance has suspended the license of a New Orleans adjuster accused of fraudulently accepting checks from insurance companies and keeping the money.

LDI’s Office of Insurance Fraud and Enforcement on July 22 issued a cease-and-desist order against Kade Austen Mitchell and his company Mitchell Adjusting International.

The Department of Insurance reported in the press that fraudulent Mitchell accepted $150,000 worth of checks from an insurance company and failed to deliver the money to the insurer. In one instance, Mitchell denied a $117,441.43 insurance claim from a policyholder, the office said.

“Law enforcement in Louisiana has a lot of faith in the adjusters they hire to settle claims after they’ve lost and they deserve that respect,” said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Louisiana insurance market.”

The department said Mitchell was licensed in Louisiana as a public adjuster on December 10, 2020. The company’s website says it is based in New Orleans and has an office in Clear Lake Shores, Texas.

Auto Repair Shop Owner Guilty in 2nd Work Comp Scam

The owner of an auto dealership in Kennewick, Washington has pleaded guilty to failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance for the second time.

The state Department of Labor and Industries said Rodney Eugene Dietrich, 47, was sentenced to 30 days of supervised release by Benton-Franklin Superior Court Judge Norma Rodriguez.

The department said Dietrich employed two men at his shop, Rod’s Cars, from November 2017 to May 2019. They failed to provide workers’ compensation insurance as required by state law, the department said.

One worker was paid cash and another traded his work for auto parts and other items, investigators say.

The department said Dietrich pleaded guilty to the same charge in October 2016. He was also charged with conspiracy after two L&I investigators observed employees working at the store, which was uninsured at the time.

Dietrich opened the shop in 2004, but changed its name, business structure and business license three times after failing to pay workers’ wages, the department said. He owes more than $40,000 in late fees, interest and penalties. Dietrich also owes more than $2,200 in back wages and penalties for failing to pay an employee in 2013, the department said.

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