Former insurance exec pleads guilty to $10 million in wire fraud

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)- Today that Bonney J. Hebert, 59, of Killington, Vermont, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to wire fraud and money laundering charges stemming from her theft of more than $10 million from Hartford-based Aetna Life Insurance Company.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Hebert was the sole owner and president of Academic Risk Resources and Insurance, LLC (“ARRI”), a risk management and insurance brokerage agency based in Boston.  ARRI’s business included brokering insurance contracts between health insurance providers and colleges or universities in order to provide health insurance for students and other individuals affiliated with the college or university.  In July 2007, Hebert and ARRI began serving as the broker for a student health insurance contract entered into between Aetna and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  The contract between Aetna and Rutgers provided that premiums would be paid by Rutgers to ARRI and then transmitted by ARRI to Aetna.

Between 2009 and 2012, Hebert failed to pass along to Aetna $10,358,728 in premiums paid by Rutgers.  She used the stolen funds on personal expenses and to cover the business expenses of ARRI.

Hebert pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.  Judge Covello scheduled sentencing for August 27, 2015.

Hebert disclosed her fraudulent scheme to Aetna representatives in June 2012.  She subsequently sold ARRI to another business and directed that payments related to the sale be made directly to Aetna.  Through these payments, Hebert has repaid Aetna approximately $1.59 million.  Hebert also has not collected more than $900,000 in commissions owed to her by Aetna.  As a result, Hebert currently owes Aetna $7,846,305.45 in restitution.

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