You Check Your Insurance Policy, Who Checks Your Adjuster?

ST. LOUIS, MO -- A Ford Mustang, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, sports memorabilia including signed football helmets and baseballs signed by Joe DiMaggio and Pete Rose.

It was all seized by law enforcement after they foiled a scheme to embezzle $400,000 from an insurance company.

U.S. Postal Inspector Dan Taylor said, "Brian Behl worked for an insurance company as an adjuster and part of that job meant that he would take somebody's insurance claim and either approve it or deny it and arrange for payments to be made."

Behl worked for the company for many years and was permitted to approve any claims under $10,000. He used his position to steal for himself. Taylor said, "What he did was set-up a fake salvage company which was nothing more than a p.o. box in a small post office. " It turns our, Behl filed several false claims for the fake company and arranged to have checks cut to this fake business set-up. The scheme went undetected for nearly two years. During that time, he arranged for more than 40 checks to be issued to that salvage company costing the company more than $400,000.

Taylor said, "This wasn't just about somebody taking money from a rich company that could afford it. There was a human toll as well." In particular, Behl's supervisor wound up feeling betrayed. "To this day [he] is still pretty upset about how the trust had been violated and ultimately put him under suspicion because this was allowed to happen under his watch."

Postal inspectors say companies of all sizes need to follow some guidelines, including a separation of duties and periodic audits of the books.

Behl pleaded guilty to mail fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.


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