A Queens-based insurance broker has been charged with fraud and grand larceny after allegedly writing policies intended for dollar vans at lower premiums than the high-risk vehicles require.
Andrew Teitelbaum, 59, of West Hampton was arraigned on Wednesday night, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Teitelbaum ran DG East Point Insurance Agency at 98-20 Metropolitan Ave. in Forest Hills, and Brown's office said undercover investigators visited twice and purchased lower premiums for thousands of dollars in discounts.
City officials recently said they had no way of knowing how many illegal commuter vans, often called dollar vans, are operating; 585 vans operate legally.
The district attorney's office said Teitelbaum also wrote policies for "friends" of the drivers, and cost Progressive Insurance $50,000 in claims losses.
“While the direct victim in this case is an insurance company, everyone who pays for auto insurance is also victimized with higher premiums,” Brown said.
Teitelbaum was released on his own recognizance and will return to court later this month. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.