D.A. Bragg: Insurance coverage Dealer Indicted for Stealing Premium Funds from Building Trade Shopper – Manhattan District Legal professional

Thefts Left Contracting Company Unknowingly Uninsured for Four Years While Conducting Construction Projects at 14 Buildings Across Manhattan
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the indictment of SCOTT KIRTLAND 54, for stealing approximately $350,000 intended as insurance premium payments from a contracting company that was a client of his firm. KIRTLAND is also charged for creating fraudulent documents purporting to show his client as insured, which allowed the contracting company to obtain 24 permits for construction projects at 14 residential buildings in Manhattan. KIRTLAND is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Grand Larceny and Scheme to Defraud, among other charges.[1]
“Our Rackets Bureau’s commitment to construction-industry integrity continues with this indictment of an insurance broker accused of pocketing nearly $350,000 – leaving his client unknowingly uninsured for four years while they conducted construction projects at 14 buildings in Manhattan,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Any accident or injury would have left Kirtland’s client liable without the support of insurance – which could have had potentially devastating consequences. Insurance brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard funds provided by their clients, and the integrity of the industry relies on brokers properly upholding that obligation.”
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, KIRTLAND, an insurance broker, owned and operated a brokerage company called Stirling Insurance Services LLC. Between June 2016 and February 2021, KIRTLAND stole approximately $350,000 from a client of his firm – Real Dependable Contracting Corp (“RDC”) – a contracting company that specializes in roof replacement and façade work for residential construction projects. RDC provided KIRTLAND with the funds to be used as insurance policy payments.
In June 2016, KIRTLAND obtained general liability and excess liability insurance policies for RDC totaling $96,702. Instead of paying for the policies in full, KIRTLAND made a portion of the payments and proceeded to embezzle $28,565 of the funds. In March 2017, KIRTLAND received notices of cancellation of the policies due to non-payment, and later received a partial refund of $3,389. However, he never alerted RDC that the policies were cancelled or provided them with the refunded money. Over the next three years, RDC provided KIRTLAND with $316,000 in additional funds for payment of the already-defunct policies.
Further investigation uncovered that KIRTLAND stole insurance policy funds from at least three other clients and used other sources of money to conceal those thefts. On at least one occasion, KIRTLAND used money stolen from RDC to hide a prior theft. KIRTLAND used the remainder of the stolen funds for personal living expenses, including: credit card payments, apartment maintenance fees, and office rent.
In furtherance of the scheme, KIRTLAND provided RDC and others with fraudulent Certificates of Liability Insurance (“COI”) appearing to show the company as insured from June 2017 to June 2021. Four of the falsified COIs were filed with the New York City Department of Buildings. As a result of the fraudulent filings, RDC was issued 24 work permits for construction projects at 14 buildings across Manhattan, including: 115 Mercer Street in SoHo, 25 Indian Road and 75 Park Terrace East in Inwood, 270 Greenwich Street in Tribeca, and others. KIRTLAND created additional COIs that were filed with a property management company that hired RDC to compete a facade restoration project at an apartment building on East 60th Street in Manhattan. Additionally, KIRTLAND created COIs that were filed with insurance consulting companies hired by one of the largest property management companies in New York City, which allowed RDC to complete construction at buildings managed by that company.
In November 2020, an insurance consulting company began a review of RDC’s insurance policies in relation to a construction project in Manhattan. KIRTLAND provided the consulting company with forged documents purporting to show that RDC was insured. Ultimately, in March 2021, the consulting company uncovered that the policies had been cancelled due to non-payment. At that time, the consulting company alerted RDC that its policies had been cancelled in March 2017 and that it had been operating without insurance ever since. A few days later, KIRTLAND failed to join a conference call where he was scheduled to provide evidence of payment of RDC’s premiums and the consulting company reported the thefts to the Manhattan DA’s Office.
Assistant D.A. Jaime Hickey-Mendoza is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Michael Ohm (Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Assistant D.A. Judy Salwen (Principal Deputy Bureau Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Assistant D.A. Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau), Executive Assistant D.A. Christopher Conroy (former Chief of the Investigation Division) and Executive Assistant D.A. Susan Hoffinger (Chief of the Investigation Division). Investigative Analyst Phil Holt, Rackets Investigator Michael Ferrara under the supervision of Supervising Rackets Investigator Veronica Rodriguez, Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations (FAFI) Forensic Accountant Investigator Francine Wexler, under the supervision of Irene Serrapica (Principal Deputy Bureau Chief of FAFI) and Robert Demarest (Chief of FAFI) also assisted with the investigation.
Defendant Information:
SCOTT KIRTLAND
White Plains, NY
 
Charged:
 
[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.
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