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Peekskill Man Charged in Insurance Fraud Scheme

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- A Peekskill resident is one of three men who were charged Thursday in an insurance fraud scheme, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Southern District of New York office.

James Kevin Kergil, 57, an insurance agent based in Peekskill, was charged with insurance fraud and obstruction of justice, both felonies, in connection with a massive fraud scheme involving stranger-owned life insurance policies. Also charged was Michael Binday, 48, the president and owner of a Scarsdale insurance agency and Mark Resnick, 56, an insurance agent based in Orlando, Fla., according to the statement.

The men are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud, all felonies. Kergil and Resnick were also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, while Binday was charged with obstruction of justice, also felonies.

Binday voluntarily surrendered to authorities, and Kergil and Resnick were arrested. Binday and Kergil were arraigned Thursday afternoon in the Southern District of New York office, and Resnick was arraigned in Florida, according to the statement.

The men are charged with defrauding major insurance companies into issuing life insurance policies valued at more than $100 million to straw buyers, or individuals who makes a purchase on behalf of another person, according to the statement. They recruited elderly clients as the straw buyers to apply for life insurance policies, promising them payment if the policies were issued and then resold. The defendants are also charged with obstructing justice during the investigation of the case.

"These three insurance agents concocted an elaborate scheme, using straw buyers and third-party agents, to deceive life insurance providers into issuing policies to unintended beneficiaries," explained U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara in the statement. "And when their scheme was unraveling, they allegedly sought to throw investigators off the trail by destroying documents and telling other individuals to lie."

Each man faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted.

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