Insurance man to serve 2 years for fake policies

March 13, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A Harford County insurance executive who pleaded guilty to keeping the premiums after writing more than 700 bogus policies was sentenced to eight years in jail with all but two years suspended in Harford Circuit Court last week.

Robert A. Lassen, 49, of the 3000 block of Creswell Road in Aberdeen also must serve five years of supervised probation after completing his sentence. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $103,000.

Judge William O. Carr made Lassen eligible for work release from the county Detention Center and ordered that he report April 1 to begin serving his sentence.

Restitution payments will be regulated by the Department of Parole and Probation, said Christopher J. Romano, the assistant attorney general who prosecuted the case.

Lassen formerly operated the Mid-Atlantic Brokerage Co. from his North Main Street office in Bel Air.

Court files and police records indicated that Lassen wrote automobile insurance polices for Assicurazioni Generali SPA, a company catering to high-risk drivers, for eight months in 1992, despite having his authority revoked by the firm Jan. 17, 1992.

The premiums Lassen collected were used in part for such personal expenses as repayment of personal loans, payment of college tuition for his children and membership fees at Winter's Run Golf Club, where Lassen was vice president from 1977 to 1992, Mr. Romano said.

Lassen could have received a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

In November 1992, Lassen entered into an agreement with the state Insurance Division, admitting that he had no authority to write policies for the Generali company.

In turn, the Insurance Division placed Mid-Atlantic Brokerage in receivership until more than $100,000 in accident claims against the bogus policies could be resolved.

Lassen was active in the Jaycees and various insurance associations, and served as chairman of several charitable foundations, Mr. Romano said.

Charles Kearney Jr., Lassen's Bel Air attorney, declined comment.

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