Businessman Indicted for Making More Than $5 Million in False Asset Statements to Government Insurance Regulators
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 25, 2014|
BALTIMORE, MD—A federal grand jury has indicted Jeffrey Cohen, age 39, of Reisterstown, Maryland, on five counts of making false statements to an insurance regulator. The indictment was returned yesterday and unsealed today upon his arrest.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Kelly of the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office; and Postal Inspector in Charge Gary R. Barksdale of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—Washington Division.
Cohen acted as the president and chairman of the Board of Indemnity Insurance Corporation RRG (IICRRG), located in Sparks, Maryland, and operating in several states including Maryland. Cohen owned RB Entertainment Ventures, which was a majority owner of IICRRG. IICRRG provided general liability, liquor liability and excess liability coverage to policyholders, which were individuals and companies involved in the entertainment industry, such as nightclubs, concert tours and special events. In 2012, IICRRG insured over 3,000 policyholders and wrote over $25 million in premiums.
IICRRG was a Delaware corporation and regulated by the Delaware Insurance Commissioner, which seeks to protect insurance policyholders and the general public by regulating insurance companies and products to ensure among other things the ability to pay claims.
The indictment alleges that in June 2012, regulators from the Delaware Insurance Commissioner examined IICRRG and learned of serious questions about the financial status of IICRRG. Thereafter, in November 2012 and January 2013, Cohen allegedly caused IICRRG to file an unaudited financial statement with, and sent a letter to, the Commissioner, respectively, which falsely claimed that IICRRG had $5.1 million in cash on deposit, in order to influence the actions of the Commissioner. In April 2013, Cohen caused a fax to be submitted to the Commissioner that falsely claimed that a bank had verified that IICRRG had $5.1 million in cash on deposit at the bank.
Cohen faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements to an insurance regulator. Cohen had an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, and is detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Friday, June 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI, HSI Baltimore, IRS – Criminal Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service—Washington Division for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Harry M. Gruber and Joyce K. McDonald, who are prosecuting the case.