A Massachusetts insurance agent pleaded guilty to stealing insurance premium totaling $295,278 from five small businesses. David G. Pietro (67) of Sandwich (Mr. Pietro), the President of a Taunton-based insurance agency, DGP-Miles Insurance Agency, Inc. (DP-Miles), has pleaded guilty in Bristol Superior Court, along with his agency, to embezzling almost $300,000 in commercial insurance premiums paid by several small businesses insuring through the DP-Miles agency.
Mr. Pietro and his agency were indicted in March 2019 for grand larceny
A statewide grand jury convened by the Attorney General in Boston had indicted Mr. Pietro and DP-Miles on March 25, 2019, charging each defendant with five counts of grand larceny. See Agency Checklists’ article of April 2, 2019, “Taunton Insurance Agency’s President Indicted for Stealing $270,000 in Insurance Premiums.”
The statute under which Mr. Pietro was charged with grand larceny provided that “Whoever…with intent to…embezzle, converts…the property of another… shall be guilty of larceny… and if the value of the property stolen exceeds $1,200.00 be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years, or by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars and imprisonment in jail for not more than two years.” As to the corporation which the Attorney General indicted, DP-Miles, the only possible punishment consisted of the fine allowed by the statute of up to twenty-five thousand dollars.
Mr. Pietro sentenced to two-years’ probation with an order of restitution
Following their guilty pleas to five felony counts of grand larceny by embezzlement, Judge Daniel O’Shea sentenced Mr. Pietro to two years of probation, during which two-year period, Mr. Pietro must perform 100 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay restitution to the five victims in an amount to be determined.
The judge also ordered DP-Miles to surrender its business entity insurance license. This agency has maintained its corporate filings up to date since its indictment. The court order will terminate the agency’s right to operate as an insurance agency or producer in Massachusetts.
Collected insureds’ premiums then used for personal and business expenses ultimately resulting in cancellation of insureds’ policies
The five charges that Mr. Pietro and DP-Miles Insurance Agency pleaded guilty to involved embezzling $295,278 in insurance premiums from five commercial clients, mostly small businesses.
Mr. Pietro’s crimes were collecting insurance premiums from commercial clients through DP-Miles and failing to remit all the premium payments he received to the insurance carriers. Instead, he lied to his clients about the payments to hide that he used the premium payments entrusted to DP-Miles to pay his business and personal expenses.
Mr. Pietro’s embezzlement caused several of the commercial insureds that did business with DP-Miles to have their commercial insurance policies wrongfully canceled.
A general focus on small commercial accounts
The website for DP-Miles is no longer available. However, a historical search of the Internet found that the agency focused on commercial accounts of the type that it embezzled.
DP-Miles’ 2018 website stated:
Our business program secures virtually any commercial enterprise in Eastern Massachusetts, and this program has many insurance options, including inland marine, commercial general liability (CGL), and business owners policies (BOPs). We have specially designed programs for businesses in more than 30 different industries, including food service, manufacturing, and retail. We select coverages from these programs in order to make any commercial policy or plan complete. ((Emphasis in original). (the Links are related to archived pages of DP-Miles’ 2018 website)
Mr. Pietro also operated an excess and surplus agency with a six-state restaurant program
The DP-Miles website also touted a restaurant program stating:
“We have an elite restaurant insurance program through which we ensure that dining establishments of many kinds get the coverage that’s necessary.” (Emphasis in original).
This restaurant insurance program operated through Mr. Pietro’s excess and surplus brokerage, American Market Insurance Agency, Inc., and the Elite Restaurant Insurance Association, Inc., Both of these companies operated out of DP-Miles location in Taunton until Mr. Pietro and DB-Miles’ indictment
In 2018, Mr. Pietro advertised that the DP-Miles restaurant program was available in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Both American Market and Elite Restaurant became defunct effective December 31, 2021,
The Attorney General’s statement upon Mr. Pietro’s sentencing
“Insurance fraud and embezzlement damage the integrity of the insurance system and can seriously impact those involved,” Attorney General Mauro Healey said. “We’re glad that this defendant has been ordered to pay restitution to the clients, many of them small businesses, that his scheme defrauded and left uninsured. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who commit fraud and theft.”
The team that investigated and prosecuted Mr. Pietro and DP-Miles-Miles Insurance Agency
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jared Cohen and Christopher O’Brien of Attorney General Healey’s Criminal Bureau and Insurance & Unemployment Fraud Division, with assistance from Criminal Investigator Lashauna Craig, Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy, and from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office as well as from investigators at the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau.
Attorney General asks for tips on her insurance fraud hotline
The Attorney General’s announcement of the guilty pleas and sentences of Mr. Pietro and the DP-Miles-Miles Insurance Agency advised and requested:
“If any member of the public believes they may have been victimized by this conduct or has any information relating to others who may have been victimized, they are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Office Insurance Fraud Tip Line at 617-573-5330.” This is the number for the The Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Unit within the White Collar and Public Integrity Division. The unit investigates and prosecutes those who commit fraud against insurers and against the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation system.