CINCINNATI — A former insurance agent pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to receiving more than $100,000 in fraudulent commissions for unauthorized policies involving victims across the Dayton and Cincinnati area.
Seneca Birchmore, 45, of Cincinnati, admitted to committing aggravated identity theft, a federal crime punishable by a mandatory two-year prison sentence
Birchmore lost his license as an insurance agent in 2019 for writing unwanted insurance policies in order to collect commissions. Birchmore stole the identities of two other insurance agents to write life insurance policies and had those commissions deposited into his own bank accounts, a release from the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker of the Southern District of Ohio stated.
Local law enforcement departments received complaints that money was being automatically withdrawn from bank accounts for unauthorized insurance policies. Many of the victims are senior citizens, and most reside in Dayton, Englewood, Middletown and Cincinnati, the release stated.
The commissions for the fraudulent insurance policies under Birchmore’s name totaled more than $8,000. The commissions for policies created under the stolen identities of other agents totaled more than $93,000.
As part of his plea, Birchmore agreed to pay the following restitution:
- Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company: $34,820.37
- Columbian Life Insurance Company: $16,604.01
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company: $4,671
- Mutual of Omaha: $2,104.65
- Great Western Insurance Company: $16,303.17
- Aetna Health and Life Insurance Company: $8,826.84
- American General Life Insurance Company: $158.82
- Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company: $17,906.07
- U.S. Small Business Administration: $41,665
In a separate scheme, Birchmore fraudulently obtained two COVID Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling more than $40,000. Birchmore claimed on both loan applications that he owned a business in his name and stated his gross income for 2019 was more than $13 million. However, no such business exists, the release stated.
A sentencing date for Birchmore has not been scheduled.
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