Federal charges filed in Oklahoma insurance company failure

Losses from Oklahoma insurance company failure are expected to top $100 million.
by Don Mecoy Published: October 5, 2012
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In January 2009, Park Avenue Property and Casualty's $55 million bond portfolio was transferred from Wells Fargo & Co. to Oppenheimer & Co. Prosecutors said Reichman, who issued the loan after being warned by Oppenheimer executives that it was illegal, earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions from the deal.

The insurance company was insolvent within months of the sale, as Antonucci, Huff and Morris “pilfered the remaining company assets,” the federal indictment states. Federal prosecutors are seeking at least $5 million in forfeitures related to the alleged insurance fraud. The federal indictment includes 12 other counts unrelated to the Oklahoma insurance company.

O'Connor said Oklahoma officials will “do what we can to make sure that Oklahomans get a part of any restitution that's ordered.” The state's civil case does not conflict with the federal criminal case, O'Connor said.

“The indictment is entirely appropriate and it does not have a negative effect on the lawsuits that are pending in any regard, as far as we're concerned,” O'Connor said. “It just reflects that the prosecutors' investigation revealed the same thing ours did.”

Attorney Stephen Jones, who represents Jerry Lancaster, the original owner of the insurance company, said the federal indictment supports his claim that Lancaster was a victim of Antonucci and the people charged in the indictment. Lancaster is not named in the federal indictment.

“They managed to dupe not only the IRS, but the FDIC, the New York banking superintendent, us, and the Oklahoma Insurance Department,” Jones said.

CONTRIBUTING:

Nolan Clay, Staff Writer

by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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