Closed broker PJP Health's license revoked

A Melville-based health insurance brokerage, PJP Health Agency

A Melville-based health insurance brokerage, PJP Health Agency Inc., plans to close some or all of its business and lay off 95 employees, a state filing shows. Photo Credit: Twitter

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A Melville health-insurance brokerage misrepresented products and enrolled some consumers in an insurance plan without their knowledge, New York State alleged in an agreement revoking the company's operating license.

PJP Health Agency Inc., which was based in the Huntington Quadrangle, has since gone out of business. The company last month said in a state regulatory filing that it was shutting down on Oct. 21, the day before it signed an agreement with the state Department of Financial Services to surrender its license. It said 95 employees would be affected.

The state agreement revoking PJP's operating license also names two people who surrendered their individual licenses: the owner, Philip Eneo Teseo, 71, and James V. Struss, 35, a sub-licensee of PJP and of Health Tree Insurance Agency. Newsday obtained a copy of the agreement from the department. The pair waived their right to a hearing and admitted that they "demonstrated untrustworthiness and/or incompetence," the document said.

But a lawyer representing the firm, as well as Teseo and Struss, said that giving up the license was preferable to costly litigation.

"Given the expense involved with a potential hearing or appeal and the state of the insurance market . . . the decision was made by the company to ultimately voluntarily surrender its license," said Michael Camilleri, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based lawyer. He stressed that the surrender wasn't ordered.

The accusations made in the agreement against the company include misleading consumers by telling them they were purchasing major medical coverage, when in fact they were buying memberships in associations that offered discounts on benefits; enrolling about 60 people in a health plan without their knowledge and with forged signatures; and employing Teseo's sons even though, the department said, they have criminal convictions.

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In July, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued PJP, accusing it of "egregious" age discrimination. The company and its attorney in that case have declined to comment.

PJP's former location is now the home of Key 2 Health Agency Inc. Lauretta Teseo, 69, Philip Teseo's wife, is listed in a state incorporation filing as the person who receives legal documents. Camilleri said she was a majority owner when the company was formed. That state document lists May 16 as the company's initial incorporation filing date. Camilleri said the new business was started by a small group of PJP employees.

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