A Massachusetts hearing officer, Attorney Jean F. Farrington, has revoked the producer license of Daniel Zaborowski (Mr. Zaborowski), of New Britain, Connecticut. Mr. Zaborowski had been the owner of a life insurance agency, Lauren Life, LLC, located in West Hartford, Connecticut.
Investigation of fraudulent policies submitted for commission advances
In 2018, the Connecticut Commissioner Of Insurance began to investigate a complaint made against Mr. Zaborowski.
This investigation resulted in the Commissioner filing an administrative complaint against Mr. Zaborowski, seeking the revocation of his Connecticut resident producer license on May 6, 2019.
The complaint alleged that Mr. Zaborowski had committed legal violations that evidenced that the Commissioner, after a hearing, should revoke his insurance licenses based upon him “being incompetent, untrustworthy, or financially irresponsible.”
A fraudulent application using information from a deceased husband
The allegations in the complaint described two fraudulent applications and financial mismanagement.
The first violation alleged that on August 26, 2018, Mr. Zaborowski had applied to Mutual of Omaha for a $26,000.00 face value policy for a 70-year-old woman.
The claimed insured had purchased a policy from Mr. Zaborowski several years before but had never authorized him to purchase another Mutual of Omaha policy on her behalf. The application was signed and submitted electronically, but the alleged insured did not have a computer, did not have internet access and, did not use or know anything about the email address listed on the Mutual of Omaha policy application. The information Mr. Zaborowski put on the application, as to her Social Security number, date of birth, height, and weight of the applicant, did not relate to her but to her deceased husband.
The complaint asserted that Mr. Zaborowski had submitted this fraudulent application to obtain advance commissions from Mutual of Omaha.
Likewise, the complaint alleged a similar misrepresentation on another Mutual of Omaha application for a $20,000.00 lump-sum policy at approximately the same time. Again, the misrepresentations in this policy application were made by Mr. Zaborowski to obtain commission advances fraudulently.
The complaint further alleged a lawsuit over Mr. Zaborowski borrowing $5,000.00, repaying the loan with a bad check which he never made good. Finally, the complaint alleged, he had failed to pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, and assessments due for his agency’s North Main Street, West Hartford location.
An insured Mr. Zaborowski befriended, discovers the cost of his “friendship”
While the Commissioner Of Insurance’s investigation proceeded, but before the Commissioner filed a complaint, another insured of Mr. Zaborowski went to the police.
Mr. Zaborowski had been the insurance agent for an 82-year-old insured for more than ten years. During that period, Mr. Zaborowski would visit her regularly, run errands for her, and help her manage her finances because he was a “friend.”
During this period, the insured entrusted Mr. Zaborowski with $28,000 to invest on her behalf based upon his presumed financial knowledge and friendship. However, she never received any information from Mr. Zaborowski about where he had invested her money
In the latter part of 2017, the woman began receiving notices and calls from collection agencies seeking the payment of debts she never incurred. With the assistance of her niece, she found that Mr. Zaborowski had used her missing bank credit card to charge $5,500.00 in purchases for which she was being billed. An examination of her bank statements showed seventeen fraudulent checks, ranging from $60.00 to over $600.00, drawn of her account payable to Mr. Zaborowski between September 2017 and November 2017.
Also, her real estate and vehicle excise taxes were unpaid and accruing penalties, even though she had given Mr. Zaborowski $3,000 in cash to pay them.
In late December 2017, this insured and her niece reported their concerns about Mr. Zaborowski to the New Britain police.
When the police question Mr. Zaborowski, he finally comes clean about his $600 a day drug habit
The police contacted Mr. Zaborowski in early January 2018 and questioned him about the accusations of embezzlement from his insured. Initially, Mr. Zaborowski denied the allegations and claimed that any money he had received from the insured constituted payments for his services in assisting her. He claimed that the woman’s family had ignored her, so he had stepped in to help by driving her to appointments and balancing her checkbook.
Finally, however, Mr. Zaborowski broke down and admitted that he had a $600.00 per day crack cocaine and opiate addiction. He admitted to using the money he had taken, through misuse of the insured’s bank card and issuing fraudulent checks to himself, and the money given to him, including the $28,000 for investment, to support his drug habit.
On April 28, 2018, Mr. Zaborowski, 45, was arrested by the New Britain Police for embezzlement of his 82-year-old client and “friend’s” money.
On February 18, 2020, Mr. Zaborowski entered a guilty plea in the Connecticut Superior Court to all the charges against him. He received a 15-year jail sentence but with the execution suspended while he completed five years on probation. The Court imposed special conditions on Mr. Zaborowski about maintaining himself drug-free during his long period of probation.
The revocation of Mr. Zaborowski’s Connecticut license precipitates a Massachusetts license proceeding
Mr. Zaborowski did not answer the complaint in Connecticut against his license, and on June 10, 2018, the Connecticut Commissioner of Insurance revoked his resident producer license.
Mr. Zaborowski had a Massachusetts nonresident producer license that ran from July 7, 2017, until December 22, 2019.
On October 30, 2019, the Division of Insurance (“Division”) filed an Order to Show Cause against Mr. Zaborowski alleging that as a nonresident producer licensee, he had submitted fictitious applications for health and life insurance to Mutual of Omaha to obtain commissions, and had failed to report the revocation of his Connecticut resident producer license to the Division as required by law.
Upon Mr. Zaborowski’s default hearing officer enters orders and fines him $500
Mr. Zaborowski did not, as required by law, maintain his addresses current with the Division, and the certified mailings of the show cause order to him were returned “unclaimed” and “not forwardable.” However, the Post Office did not return the mailings sent first-class mail.
After Mr. Zaborowski did not file an answer to its show-cause complaint, the Division moved for a summary decision in its favor.
The hearing officer entered an order, with notice, allowing Mr. Zaborowski to submit any response to the Division’s motion by February 18, 2020, and scheduling a hearing for February 28, 2020. After Mr. Zaborowski, neither responded to the Division’s motion nor appeared at the February 28 hearing, the hearing officer defaulted him and proceeded to hear the Division’s undisputed evidence.
The hearing officer refuses to find Massachusetts violations for the Connecticut misrepresentations of Mr. Zaborowski
Before the hearing officer, the Division’s evidence consisted of the undisputed exhibits to the show cause order consisting of the complaint that the Connecticut Insurance Commissioner filed against Mr. Zaborowski on May 6, 2019, and the Order entered on June 10, 2019, revoking his home-state resident producer licenses.
The Division, as it had in prior show cause order hearings, argued to the hearing officer that based on the undisputed facts in the Connecticut order, that Mr. Zaborowski, in making misrepresentations in violation of Connecticut law, could also be punished in Massachusetts under M.G.L. c. 175, § 162R (a)(2).
This subsection of § 162R allows, among other disciplinary actions, the imposition of fines for a licensee “violating any insurance laws, or violating any regulation, subpoena or order of the Commissioner or another state’s insurance commission.”
The hearing officer recognized that the Connecticut Order established that Mr. Zaborowski had violated Connecticut insurance laws. However, she also recognized that the Division’s claim requesting disciplinary action against Mr. Zaborowski under §162R (a)(2) for violations of Connecticut law in effect made the Connecticut Commissioner’s decision an independent ground for discipline in Massachusetts.
The hearing officer decided though that “On this record, I conclude that the Division’s claim for discipline pursuant to §162R (a)(2) is duplicative and decline to treat it as a separate ground for disciplining [Mr.] Zaborowski.”
The hearing officer revokes Mr. Zaborowski license and imposes a fine
The hearing officer did not ignore the Connecticut findings, however. She revoked his Massachusetts license, ruling that, “The Connecticut revocation of [Mr.] Zaborowski’s license, for engaging in activities that would support a similar outcome in Massachusetts, is a sound basis for revocation of his Massachusetts nonresident producer license.”
She ruled that the only violation consisted of Mr. Zaborowski failing to report the Connecticut revocation, which thereby enabled him to remain licensed for some six months after he was no longer eligible for a Massachusetts nonresident producer license. For that violation, she imposed the maximum fine, $500.00
The hearing officer’s final Orders:
ORDERED: That any and all insurance producer licenses issued to Daniel Zaborowski by the Division are hereby revoked; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: that Daniel Zaborowski shall return to the Division any licenses in his possession, custody, or control; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: that Daniel Zaborowski is, from the date of this Order, prohibited from directly or indirectly transacting any insurance business in or acquiring, in any capacity whatsoever, any insurance business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: that Daniel Zaborowski shall comply with the
provisions of Chapter 175, §166B and dispose of any and all interests in Massachusetts as proprietor, partner, stockholder, officer, or employee of any licensed insurance producer; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: that Daniel Zaborowski shall cease and desist from the conduct that gave rise to this Order to Show Cause; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: that Daniel Zaborowski shall pay a fine of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) to the Division within 30 days of the entry of this Order…