The owner and operator of of a third-party insurance administrator has been sentenced to seven years in state prison for stealing nearly half a million dollars from a health insurance policy trust fund that was supposed to benefit union employees and their families.
Catarina Young, 48, of Metuchen, was convicted on Oct. 29 of second-degree theft by unlawful taking and second-degree misapplication of entrusted property or property of a government or financial institution, according to a press release from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.
She was sentenced on Thursday by Superior Court Judge Dennis Nieves.
Young was a partial owner of the former Elite Benefits Corp. in Middlesex County, where she administered insurance plans on behalf of third-parties, including the Multi-Skilled Employees & Employer Welfare Trust Fund according to the release.
Between Nov. 17, 2003 and Dec. 26, 2006, Young deposited $462,341 of fund money into her own personal bank accounts and used it herself, according to the release.
The money was supposed to be spent to purchase health insurance coverage and prescription coverage from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Benecard, according to the release.
The fund consisted of union employers representing hundreds of people. As a result of the thefts, a health insurance plan that insured more than 1,000 working people and their families was canceled, according to the release.
"Young stole nearly a half a million dollars though a scheme that blatantly disregarded the welfare of more than 1,000 employees and their families by leaving them without much-needed health care coverage,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said, in a prepared statement. “Such criminal conduct will not be tolerated in the state of New Jersey.”