A St. Louis man who worked in O'Fallon has pleaded guilty to filing false insurance claims to divert more than $400,00 for his personal expenses.
Brian Behl, 33, worked for Allianz as a claims adjuster in the O’Fallon office. On Friday Behl pleaded guilty to one felony count of mail fraud before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson. Mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. Behl's sentencing has been set for May 16, 2013. Along with the treat of prison time, Behl will be required to forfeit to the government all money and property derived from the illegal activity. Subject to forfeiture is a Ford Mustang, a motorcycle and $40,744 cash.
According to a release from the Eastern Missouri District of the United States Attorney's Office, Behl worked for Allianz for about 10 years until he was terminated on Sept. 20, 2012. The release said that because of his years of experience, Behl was allowed to approve insurance claims less than $10,000 without the approval of a manager. The court said that between March 2010 and Sept. 20, Behl falsified damage claims and caused Allianz to make substantial monetary payments to a fictitious salvage company.
Document show that Behl opened a bank account in the name of a fictitious company called B & M Salvage Repair. While at work in O'Fallon, Behl re-opened old Allianz accounts made false damage claims on those accounts. During the course of the fraud scheme, Behl caused more than 40 checks from Allianz or Fireman's Fund to be issued payable to B&M Salvage to pay for the false claims. He then cashed those checks for himself. Court documents said Behl purchased a 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra and a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and made other personal expenditures with the illegal proceeds. In total, Behl is said to have fraudulently diverted more than $400,000 to himself over the course of the scheme.
Behl's case was investigated by the O’Fallon Police Department and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Reginald Harris is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.