A former insurance agent has pleaded guilty to defrauding consumers by taking out life insurance policies in their names without the victims’ knowledge.

CINCINNATI – A former insurance agent pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to defrauding multiple victims in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.

Specifically, Seneca Birchmore, 45, of Cincinnati, pleaded guilty to identity theft, a federal crime punishable by up to two years in prison. Birchmore also fraudulently received two COVID Paycheck Protection Program loans.

According to court records, Birchmore lost his license as an insurance agent in 2019 because he wrote unauthorized insurance policies so he could collect commissions.

After losing his license, Birchmore stole the information of two other insurance agents and used that information to write more life insurance policies for customers who didn’t want them. Birchmore had commissions from many local clients deposited into his own accounts.

Local government departments received complaints from victims that money was automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts for insurance they never ordered. Most of the victims are elderly, and many live in Dayton, Englewood, Middletown and Cincinnati.

Commissions for Birchmore’s first fraudulent insurance under his name as an agent totaled more than $8,000. Commissions for policies made under the stolen accounts of other agents totaled more than $93,000.

As part of his plea, Birchmore has agreed to pay the following restitution:

  • Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company: $34,820.37
  • Columbian Life Insurance Company: $16,604.01
  • Transamerica Life Insurance Company: $4,671
  • Mutual of Omaha: $2,104.65
  • Great Western Insurance Company: $16,303.17
  • Aetna Health and Life Insurance Company: $8,826.84
  • American General Life Insurance Company: $158.82
  • Guaranty Insurance Company: $17,906.07
  • US Small Business Administration: $41,665

In another scheme, Birchmore was found to have defrauded two COVID Paycheck Protection Program loans of more than $40,000. Birchmore said on two loan applications that he has a business in his name and said his gross income for 2019 was more than $13 million. No such business exists.

The defendant was charged by the federal government and arrested in June 2022.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, was joined by the Office of the Inspector General, US Secret Service, Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, US Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, US Marshals Service, Butler County Sheriff’s Office and Cincinnati Police Department in announcing the guilty pleas entered yesterday before Senior US District Judge Susan J. Dlott. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case.

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