In­sur­ance agent faces more charges

The Times-Tribune - - Local - STAFF WRITER BY JIM LOCK­WOOD

An in­sur­ance agent from Lack­awanna County charged in July with de­fraud­ing three clients in Susque­hanna County was ar­rested Thurs­day on vi­o­la­tions in­volv­ing three ad­di­tional firms in Luzerne County, au­thor­i­ties said.

Ti­mothy He­witt, 41, of South Abing­ton Twp., was charged Thurs­day with var­i­ous counts of in­sur­ance fraud, forgery and theft in­volv­ing Arc Elec­tric of Ha­zle­ton and Hi-Tech Floor­ing and De­sign­tech In­te­ri­ors, both of Kingston, ac­cord­ing to the North­east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia In­sur­ance Fraud Task Force.

He­witt col­lected nearly $14,000 from the firms to post in­sur­ance bonds that the com­pa­nies needed to se­cure cer­tain jobs, au­thor­i­ties said. He col­lected $7,110 from Arc Elec­tric, $3,564 from Hi-Tech Floor­ing and $3,300 from De­sign­tech In­te­ri­ors; and over­billed Hi-Tech $2,133 for its bond, the task force said.

He­witt posted the bonds but in­ves­ti­ga­tors said he never sent the re­quired amounts to the surety com­pany that would in­sure the firms. The re­sult was that the posted bonds were in­valid, the firms were not in­sured for those jobs, and if there were ever any claims made against the bonds, they would not be hon­ored by the car­rier, au­thor­i­ties said.

“Ba­si­cally, he pock­eted the money,” said De­tec­tive Joseph Sarkis of the in­sur­ance fraud task force.

There were no claims made against the in­valid bonds, Sarkis said.

He­witt was ar­raigned by Mag­is­te­rial District Judge Paul Keeler and re­leased on $30,000 un­se­cured bail.

The new charges stem from a con­tin­u­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion of He­witt.

In July, the task force filed charges against He­witt in­volv­ing three firms in Susque­hanna County: Diaz For­est Prod­ucts and Diaz Stone and Pal­let, both in Har­ford, and Diaz Man­u­fac­tur­ing in Mon­trose. Some of those vi­o­la­tions in­cluded al­low­ing a work­ers’ com­pen­sa­tion pol­icy to lapse but con­tin­u­ing to bill for it, and over­billing for poli­cies, au­thor­i­ties had said. Con­tact the writer: jlock­wood@timessham­rock. com; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlock­woodTT on Twit­ter

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