A Baldwin man was sentenced Wednesday to 1 ⅓ to 4 years in prison for posing as an insurance agent in order to fleece his “clients” out of $75,000 in application fees.
Darren Downes pleaded guilty at Nassau County court in July to felony charges of scheme to defraud, identity theft and grand larceny.
“All New Yorkers pay a price for insurance fraud, which drives up premiums across the board,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Prosecutors said a 33-year-old wannabe insurance salesman charged customers hundreds of dollars each to submit policy applications on their behalf to companies such as Progressive and GEICO, promising to get them a better policy than they could get on their own.
He then used stolen social security numbers, incorrect zip codes and fictitious professional and educational backgrounds to obtain discounted policies.
When insurance companies discovered the scam, Downes’ victims found their policies cancelled or were forced to pay significantly higher premiums.
Downes was also ordered to pay an $85,000 fine.