Insurance agent, public inspector, car repair shop owner

Insurance agent pleads guilty to embezzlement

The chief executive officer of an insurance agency in Taunton, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to embezzling $295,278 from local businesses, state attorney general Maura Healey’s office said Friday.

Sandwich’s David G. Pietro, 67, and his company DPG-Miles Insurance Agency pleaded guilty to five counts of theft by embezzlement in Bristol High Court. Judge Daniel O’Shea gave Pietro a two-year suspended sentence, ordering him to perform 100 hours of community service and pay compensation to the victims. The amount has not yet been determined.

O’Shea also ordered Pietro to surrender his insurance license, effectively making it impossible for his company to continue operating, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Prosecutors say Pietro collected insurance premiums but did not transfer them to insurers, leaving customers uncovered. Most of the five victims were small businesses, according to the agency.

The embezzlement scheme resulted in several client companies canceling their commercial insurance policies.

LDI Suspends Public Controller

The Louisiana Department of Insurance has suspended the license of a New Orleans state auditor, accused of cheating on endorsement of checks from insurance companies and withholding money.

On July 22, the LDI Insurance Fraud and Enforcement Authority issued a cease and desist order against Cade Austin Mitchell and his company Mitchell Adjusting International.

The Insurance Department said in a press release that Mitchell fraudulently endorsed checks totaling $150,000 from an insurance company and failed to transfer the funds to the insured. In another case, Mitchell withheld a $117,441.43 insurance claim from an insured, the office said.

“Louisiana policyholders have great confidence in the state assessors they hire to review their post-loss claims and deserve respect for that trust,” Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said. “This kind of behavior is unacceptable in the Louisiana insurance market.”

The department said that Mitchell was licensed in Louisiana as a state auditor on December 10, 2020. The company’s website states that it is headquartered in New Orleans and has an office in Clear Lake Shores, Texas.

Auto repair shop owner guilty of second work compensation fraud

An auto repair shop owner in Kennewick, Washington pleaded guilty to felony charges after failing to provide compensation insurance to his employees a second time.

The State Department of Labor and Industry said Rodney Eugene Dietrich, 47, was sentenced to 30 days of electronic surveillance of his home by Benton-Franklin Supreme Court Judge Norma Rodriguez.

The department said Dietrich hired two people at his Rod’s Cars store from November 2017 to May 2019. It did not provide workers’ insurance compensation as required by state law, the department said in a statement.

One employee was paid in cash, while another traded his labor for auto parts and other items, investigators said.

The department reported that Dietrich pleaded guilty to the same offense in October 2016. He was again charged with a felony after two L&I investigators noticed that employees were working in a store that was not insured at the time.

Dietrich opened the store in 2004 but changed its name, business structure and business license three times after it overdue workers’ compensation bonuses, the department said. He owes more than $40,000 in delinquent premiums, interest, and penalties. Dietrich also owes more than $2,200 in wages and fines for not paying an employee’s wages in 2013, the department said.

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