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Home > Insurance Division > Enforcement Activity
2020 Division of Insurance Enforcement Activity
January > February > March > May > August > September > October > November > December
Please Note: P.L. 2013, c. 259 became effective on July 1, 2014.  This law amended the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 52:14B-1 et seq. One of the amendments requires all state agencies to post on their websites all non-confidential final agency orders, decisions and opinions. Accordingly, all such final agency orders or decisions in disciplinary actions issued subsequent to July 1, 2014 may be accessed by clicking on the link within the summaries below. Orders or decisions issued on such matters prior to July 1, 2014 are available upon request to the Division of Insurance.
 
December

Final Order

Giovanni R. Jean-Baptiste, Brooklyn, NY
Premier Choice Health, LLC, Brooklyn, NY
Order #E20-30, December 14, 2020
Respondents failed to respond to an Order to Show Cause charging them with misrepresenting limited health benefits plans sold in combination with association membership as major medical insurance and with failing to respond to a Department inquiry.
Sanction: Revocation, Fine -$25,000 and Costs - $4,375

Cease and Desist Order

Aliera Healthcare, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Jessica Buddington, Atlanta, GA
Alexander Cardona, Atlanta, GA
Ensurian Agency, LLC, Wilmington, DE
Jon Hatcher, Wilmington, DE
Trinity Healthshare, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Order #E20-31, December 23, 2020
Respondents are ordered to immediately cease and desist from the solicitation, negotiation or sale of health care sharing ministry products, from writing or renewing any health care sharing ministry coverage and from acting as insurers.

Orders to Show Cause

Ryan Fabian, Pennsauken, NJ
Order #E20-27, December 1, 2020
Respondent is charged with misappropriation of premium, failure to issue premium receipts and failing to pay a penalty levied in a 2016 Consent Order.  

Aliera Healthcare, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Jessica Buddington, Atlanta, GA
Alexander Cardona, Atlanta, GA
Ensurian Agency, LLC, Wilmington, DE
Jon Hatcher, Wilmington, DE
Trinity Healthshare, Inc., Atlanta, GA
Order #E20-32, December 23, 2020
Respondents are charged with falsely representing Trinity Healthshare, Inc. to be a qualified health care sharing ministry and allowing Aliera Healthcare, Inc. and Trinity Healthshare, Inc. to operate as unauthorized insurers.

Consent Orders

Jeffrey A. Broten, Barnegat, NJ
Order #E20-29, December 9, 2020
Respondent failed to report a New Jersey Bureau of Securities order to the Department.
Sanction: Fine - $5,000

Joseph J. Tenuto, Philadelphia, PA
Premier Public Adjusters, LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Order #E20-28, December 9, 2020
Respondents issued 31 public adjuster contracts on behalf of Premier Public Adjusters, LLC while Premier’s license was expired, used public adjuster contracts that did not contain required terms and conditions and did not maintain a trust account.
Sanction: Fine $15,250

 
November

Consent Orders

Scott Eckley, Summit, MO
Order #E20-25, November 20, 2020
Respondent submitted a health insurance application for a New Jersey application before being licensed as a producer in New Jersey.
Sanction: Fine - $2,500

Michael Vetere, Florham Park, NJ
Order #E20-26, November 20, 2020
Respondent submitted two fraudulent claims for lost jewelry.
Sanction: Revocation, Fine for Producer Act violations - $7,500, Fine for Fraud Act violations - $7,500, Fraud Act surcharge - $375 and Attorneys’ Fees - $4,625.

 
October

Final Order

Robert Tuffy, Point Pleasant, NJ
Order #E20-24, October 2, 2020
Respondent failed to respond to an Order to Show Cause charging him with execution of six trades for a customer without customer authorization and with failing to report a FINRA disciplinary action against him..
Sanction: Revocation, Fine - $15,000, Costs - $575

 
September

Order to Show Cause

David A. Mickens, Philadelphia, PA
American Claims Agency, LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Order #E20-23, September 21, 2020
Respondents are charged with submitting an insurance claim that contained a false invoice, with retaining the proceeds of an insurance company check made payable to the insured and the remediation company, with using a public adjuster contract that did not contain required terms and conditions and with failing to respond to Department inquiries.

Consent Order

Transamerica Life Insurance Company, Cedar Rapids, IA
Order #E20-22, September 8, 2020
Respondent issued a group life insurance policy to a policemen’s benevolent association and superior officers association which improperly permitted premium to be paid from funds contributed by insured members.
Sanction: Fine - $137,000

 
August

Consent Orders

American Specialty Health ODS of New Jersey, Inc., Carmel, IN
Order #E20-21, August 26, 2020
Respondent’s recruiters inaccurately advised providers that an agreement between respondent and an insurer had been approved by the Commissioner.
Sanction: Fine - $357,500

Bruce S. Rifkin, Freehold, NJ
Ultimate Adjusters, Inc., Manalapan, NJ
Order #E20-19, August 3, 2020
Respondents issued 72 public adjuster contracts in the name of Ultimate Public Adjusters, Inc. when Ultimate’s public adjuster license was expired.
Sanction: Fine - $18,000

Ralph A. Valente, West Caldwell, NJ
Corporate Benefit Solutions, LLC., West Caldwell, NJ
Order #E20-20, August 5, 2020
Respondents paid cash to three insureds who had disputes with their insurer.
Sanction: Fine - $30,000

 
May

Orders to Show Cause

Margot Brown, Toms River, NJ
Order #E20-16, May 13, 2020
Respondent is charged with providing false information in an application for homeowners insurance.

Erica Dixon, Plainfield, NJ
Order #E20-17, May 13, 2020
Respondent is charged with submitting bogus applications for renter’s insurance and with failing to respond to Department inquiries.

Consent Order

Roger Hohne, Denville, NJ
Order #E20-18, May 18, 2020
Respondent incorrectly answered questions on his producer license application.
Sanction: Fine - $5,000

 
March

Consent Orders

Chihong Chu, East Brunswick, NJ
Cornerstone Financial Strategies, Inc., East Brunswick, NJ
Order #E20-13, March 3, 2020
Respondents mailed out misleading solicitations and failed to register branch offices. Respondent Cornerstone Financial Strategies, Inc. was not licensed when the solicitations were sent.
Sanction: Fine - $50,500

Global Claims Administration, LLC, Cincinnati, OH
Order #E20-15, March 20, 2020
Respondent, a third party administrator, failed to timely file its 2018 audited financial statement.
Sanction: Fine - $13,200

Sierra Health Services, Clifton, NJ
Order #E20-12, March 3, 2020
Respondent operated as a third party billing service prior to being certified by the Commissioner as a third party billing service.
Sanction: Fine - $14,500

 
February

Order to Show Cause

Peter M. Forde, Green Village, NJ and Madison, NJ
Madison Insurance and Financial Services LLC, Green Village, NJ
Order #E20-10, February 7, 2020
Respondents are charged with failing to procure general liability and cargo insurance for a client and issuing eleven certificates that falsely stated that the client had general liability and cargo insurance.

Consent Order

Dickchaney Garcia, Prospect Park, NJ
Order #E20-11, February 20, 2020
Respondent signed an insured’s name to an application without the insured’s consent when the insured made the application by telephone.
Sanction: Fine - $2,500

 
January

Final Orders

Bilal Pekdemir, Fort Lee, NJ
Order #E20-04, January 9, 2020
Respondent added comprehensive only automobile insurance coverage for second vehicles which were not owned by or registered to the insureds on seven policies, without the insureds’ knowledge or consent, in order to qualify the insureds for multi-vehicle discounts to which they were not entitled.  
Sanction: Suspension – 30 days, Fine - $5,000

Andrew Tepedino, Ventnor City, NJ and New York, NY
Michael Tepedino & Sons Insurance Agency, Northfield, NJ
Order #E20-08, January 27, 2020
Respondents made misleading, incomplete or inaccurate statements to induce a person to surrender annuity contracts, submitted annuity applications on which they misrepresented the address, birthday and phone number of the applicant and falsely stated that the applicant did not have existing annuity contracts and that the contract applied for was not a replacement for an existing annuity contract, misrepresented the applicant’s income, assets, liabilities and net worth on annuity suitability forms and submitted false information about the annuities that were replaced.
Sanction:  Andrew Tepedino – Revocation
Sanction:  Andrew Tepedino and  Michael Tepedino & Sons Insurance Agency (jointly and severally) - Fine - $45,000 (Producer Act violations - $25,000 and Fraud Act violations - $20,000), Attorneys’ Fees - $25,000, Costs - $2,400 and Fraud Act surcharge - $1,000

Orders to Show Cause

Dennis McDine, Washington Township, NJ and Bogata, NJ
Order #E20-02, January 2, 2020
Respondent is charged with falsely representing that he owned a business that was used as collateral for a promissory note, with failing to report that he had been indicted on the charge of theft by deception and with completing applications for property and casualty insurance when he was not licensed as a producer with property and casualty authority.

Scott Newsholme, Fairton, NJ
Order #E20-03, January 2, 2020
Respondent is charged with committing fraudulent acts, misappropriation of premium funds, failure to pay income tax, and failure to report a FINRA suspension.

Brian Piccolo, Andover, NJ
Insurance Coverage Specialists, LLC, Andover, NJ
Order #E20-06, January 14, 2020
Respondents are charged with issuing bogus certificates of insurance and submitting false information in an insurance application.

Claudia Silverberg, Delray Beach, FL
Order #E20-05, January 14, 2020
Respondent is charged with selling health benefits plans to New Jersey residents that were not approved for sale in New Jersey and with failing to comply with a Department subpoena.

Donald Toomer, Jr., Henderson, NV
Order #E20-07, January 15, 2020
Respondent is charged with failing to notify the Department of an indictment, a FINRA suspension and an address change, and with failing to respond to a Department inquiry.


Consent Orders

Christopher M. Carlino, Chattanooga, TN
Arrow PEO Brokerage, Inc., Clinton, TN
Order #E20-09, January 28, 2020
Respondents conducted insurance producer business without maintaining a New Jersey producer license.
Sanction: Fine - $10,000

DentaQuest of New Jersey, LLC, Mequon, WI
Order #E20-01, January 2, 2020
Respondent failed to comply with the Holding Company Act, failed to maintain minimum net worth, failed to maintain a segregated account, failed to make a deposit with the Commissioner, failed to maintain a fidelity bond, and failed to file quarterly and annual statements.
Sanction: Fine - $523,500  

 
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