Insurance agent accused of stealing premiums to gamble online

Criminal charges have been filed against Jon Bowen, a Pennsylvania insurance agent who is accused of stealing more then $21,000 in insurance premiums to help fund his online gambling habit and for other personal uses. He will face charges of insurance fraud, theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.

Bowen was a licensed insurance agent who sold policies through his parents' business, Bowen Insurance Agency. Between Jan 1 and Dec. 31, 2003, Bowen allegedly took insurance premiums from more than two dozen clients from a variety of policies and kept the money rather than forwarding it on to the appropriate insurance agency, leaving these customers without coverage.

According to the police Bowen would sell policies to customers telling them in some cases that he could only accept cash payments, or that policies could only be immediately activated with a cash payment. Victims also claimed that if they didn't pay in cash, the policy rates would go up significantly.

"Our investigation determined that Mr. Bowen created an elaborate scheme that diverted the premiums of dozens of customers into his personal bank accounts to fund gambling and other personal activities," said Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett.

"To hide the theft, Bowen allegedly created fraudulent insurance cards and documents that were in effect worthless. Consumers were led to believe that they had full coverage when their policies failed to exist."

The scheme was uncovered when customers filed claims and discovered that their policies were never activated.

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