Ocean County Insurance Broker Admits To $1.5 Million Fraud

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  LAKEWOOD – An insurance broker admitted to engaging in $1.5 million in fraudulent claims, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

  Jonas Knopf, 65, of Lakewood, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements related to a health care benefits program.

  The fraud began in 2009, while Knopf was chief executive officer of Madison Financial Services (MFS) in Lakewood. It was the parent company of two sham companies created by Knopf and others for marketing health insurance coverage to people who were not his employees.

  On paper, these two companies operated in Pennsylvania and had hundreds of employees. These employees were mostly Lakewood residents seeking health care coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield.

  Knopf used fake personal information like addresses and job titles to pretend that his clients were actually employees. The health care insurers would then pay more than $1.5 million in fraudulent claims from 2009 to 2013.

  In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance caused Knopf to surrender his Pennsylvania insurance producer’s license and cease operation in the state.

  The count of making false statements relating to a health care benefit program carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2021.

  Acting U.S. Attorney Honig thanked special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent In Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, New York Region, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Mikulka; and Investigators of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefit Security Administration, under the direction of Regional Director Darren Cohen.