A federal grand jury has handed down a criminal indictment accusing a former life insurance agent of defrauding the widow of a Port Authority police officer who died during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the New York World Trade Center complex.
The indictment, issued by a grand jury in a federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y., charges Kevin Dunn with taking about $250,000 of the $2 million in WTC victim compensation benefits that the widow received in connection with her husband’s death.
Dunn, who was an agent for MetLife Inc., New York, will be arraigned today in Brooklyn, according to officials in the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.
U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser has been assigned to preside over the case.
“This is a matter that MetLife uncovered and subsequently referred to the proper authorities,” a company spokesman says in a statement about the case.
Dunn’s lawyer, Mario Gallucci of Staten Island, N.Y., asked that people not to rush to judgment about his client.
“We’ve just received the indictment and the charges,” Gallucci said.
MetLife already seems to have reimbursed the widow for her losses, and, because Dunn and the widow had a longstanding friendship, it is possible that Dunn had or believed he had consent for his actions, Gallucci said.
Prosecutors say the widow involved in the case hired Dunn because he and the widow had been friends for years.
Dunn helped the widow set up a brokerage and annuity account with his firm, then asked the widow to remedy alleged problems with her account by sending him blank checks, prosecutors allege.
Dunn said he would reposit money into her accounts but instead deposited money into his own personal bank account, prosecutors allege.
Dunn also opened a joint MetLife brokerage account in his and the victim’s names, forged the victim’s signature on the application, and falsely listed his own mother’s address as that of the victim to ensure that the victim would not receive any brokerage statements, prosecutors allege.