Lakewood Man Charged With $10 Million Insurance Fraud Scam

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NEWARK – A local insurance salesman allegedly defrauded Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of $10 million, officials said.

Jonas Knopf, 63, of Lakewood, was charged with one count of conspiring to defraud three health care Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliates in Pennsylvania and the Washington, D.C., area. He was an insurance producer – one who sells policies – and appeared today in court, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Knopf was the chief executive officer of Madison Financial Services from 2009 to 2017, officials said. His company was the parent company of 11 sham companies created to provide insurance coverage to people who were not employees. In 2013, some irregularities in his information caused an investigation to begin. The conspiracy lasted until 2017.

“These companies purported to be located and doing business in Pennsylvania and/or Virginia, and created the appearance of employment status for hundreds of individuals, largely Lakewood residents who were seeking health care coverage through BCBS benefit plans,” a press release from prosecutors stated. “Knopf’s clients or purported employees paid him inflated insurance premiums as well as providing him with monies for payroll; Knopf, in turn, issued fake payroll checks, giving the false impression that they were actually employees being paid for services rendered.”