MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Roslyn Heights insurance agent was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from two former clients.
Jack Kohen, 51, was arraigned before District Court Judge Paul Meli on four counts of grand larceny in the third degree (a D felony), two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree (a D felony) and one count of falsifying business records in the 1st degree (an E felony). The defendant as released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Dec. 9.
“This defendant was entrusted with his clients’ retirement savings, but he allegedly stole more than $35,000 of their hard-earned money for his own use,” said DA Singas. “I thank our investigators, prosecutors and the New York State Department of Financial Services for their swift investigation of this matter.”
DA Singas said that Kohen worked as a licensed insurance agent for New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation and kept an office in Long Beach. In 2003, a client from Levittown applied for a deferred annuity with New York Life. In December 2015 and January 2016, Kohen allegedly faxed three withdrawal requests for partial withdrawals of the annuity. Kohen allegedly requested that the funds be deposited into an account that belong to him. After each withdrawal, the victim received a letter confirming the withdrawals. On February 8, 2016, the victim contacted New York Life to report the activity on her account and claimed that she did not authorize any of the disbursements. The defendant allegedly stole $21,200 from the victim.
In September 2013, another client, from Brooklyn, applied for a deferred annuity with New York Life that was sold to her by Kohen. In April and May 2015, Kohen allegedly faxed three withdrawal requests for partial withdrawals. Each of the applications sought to have the funds deposited into an account belonging to Kohen. A total of $14,531.48 was allegedly deposited into his account. The victim discovered the theft when she received an IRS form for the 2015 pension distribution and reported it to New York Life.
Kohen was subsequently terminated by New York Life in March 2016.
The case was investigated with the assistance of the New York State Department of Financial Services, who brought it to the District Attorney’s Office. The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the District Attorney’s Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau at 516-571-3343.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Vickie Curran of DA Singas’ Government and Consumer Frauds Bureau. The defendant is represented by Michael Sochnick, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.