Insurance broker gets long custodial sentence after fraud

Fraudster who pocketed some $130,000 of premiums said, “I just couldn’t stop.”

Insurance broker gets long custodial sentence after fraud

Workers Comp

By James Middleton

A Colorado insurance broker was sentenced to 12 years in state prison on Monday after he pleaded guilty to several counts of forgery, insurance fraud, and theft.

James Ahlin of Grand Junction pocketed some $130,000 in workers’ compensation premiums that he wrote while his license was revoked, The Daily Sentinel reported. Ahlin had previously been sentenced to two years of probation and had his license revoked in 2014 after pleading guilty to forgery in what was described as a similar case.

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According to the report, authorities slapped a six-count complaint against Ahlin in 2016 after state investigators learned that he continued to write policies that were not underwritten by any insurance companies. Three months later, he was charged with 40 new counts in another case.

“Nothing deterred the defendant from his criminal conduct,” said Colorado Assistant Attorney General Daniel Pietragallo in the report. The official asked Mesa County District Judge Gretchen Larson to hand out a 15-year sentence as the 56 year old continued to defraud his victims despite probation and subsequent charges.

“I just couldn’t stop. I just had been doing it for so long. I didn’t know what else to do,” said Ahlin during the sentencing. “All I want to do is pay back what I owe to my clients and to be able to do that would be to get back in the community and do the right thing and prove myself again.”

The report said many of his victims were subcontractors who needed workers’ compensation for jobs under general contractors.

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