Insurance broker sentenced to 3 years for stealing millions from Aetna

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HARTFORD — The owner of a Boston-based insurance agency was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday for stealing millions of dollars from Aetna.

Bonney Herbert, 59 of Killington Vermont, was sentenced to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $10 million from Hartford-based Aetna Life Insurance Company.

Herbert pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, 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.

Officials said Herbert was the president of Academic Risk Resources and Insurance, a company  that brokered insurance coverage for students and employees of colleges and universities. In 2007, Hebert contracted to broker a student health insurance contract between Aetna and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  The contract said 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, and instead used the stolen funds on personal expenses and to cover the business expenses of ARRI, according to officials.

Prosecutors said Herbert has repaid Aetna $1.59 million from the sale of her company and not collected more than $900,000 in commissions owed to her by Aetna.  As a result, she currently owes Aetna $7,846,305.45 in restitution.