Former insurance producer pleads guilty to fraud

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – May 16, 2019 – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that Robert M. Hochman, 42, of Groveland, Florida, entered a plea of guilty on May 9, 2019 on insurance fraud charges.  Hochman pleaded guilty to one count of Obtaining Property Under False Pretenses, $10,000 or More and Forgery no dollar amount.

 

The Honorable Thomas Russo accepted the plea and sentenced Hochman to five years in prison on the Obtaining charge and a concurrent term of three years on the Forgery charge, both of which were suspended to five years of probation. A special condition of his probation is to pay $50,000 of restitution to two insurance companies. Additionally, Hochman’s insurance producer’s license was previously revoked by the South Carolina Department of Insurance following its own investigation.

 

“When people commit fraud against insurance companies it raises the rates for all of us,” said Attorney General Wilson. “We’re glad to see that this defendant will have to pay back the money he stole.”

 

The incidents took place between August 3, 2015 and August 17, 2016 in Horry County. During this period, Hochman was a licensed insurance producer and completed and submitted several annuity applications along with premium checks in an amount of up to $750,000. Hochman received multiple commission checks from the insurance company in return for his submission of these annuities; however, the premium checks were subsequently returned as being drawn on a closed account and an investigation revealed that the applications and checks submitted by Hochman were fraudulent.

 

The case was investigated by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Special Agent Joseph Neff and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General James Haarsgaard.  Mr. Hochman was represented by Laura Hiller.

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