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Former insurance agent pleads guilty in thefts

Gerard Timoney, 54, of Rockville Centre, was arrested

Gerard Timoney, 54, of Rockville Centre, was arrested on Sept. 26. (Sept. 28, 2012) Credit: Nassau County District Attorney

A Rockville Centre man pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing almost $1 million from a Great Neck couple, two title insurance companies and the state labor department.

Prosecutors said Gerard Timoney, 55, formerly a policy issuing agent and the former owner of TitleGuard Land Services Inc., was first arrested in September 2012 on charges he stole $870,000 meant for recording deeds and mortgages, and paying recording fees and taxes while he was retained by Stewart Title Insurance Co. and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co. to issue title insurance policies in their names.

He was then arrested Feb. 6 on charges of stealing $37,504 that was meant to pay property taxes on behalf of two homeowners, and because he received $33,615 in unemployment benefits based on providing false testimony about his unemployment, according to a news release from Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice's office. Prosecutors said Timoney first filed for unemployment benefits in July 2010 after closing TitleGuard in June 2010, and didn't disclose that his business had closed due to criminal misconduct.

"Mr. Timoney repeatedly abused the trust, not only of homeowners and companies, but of taxpayers who pay for benefits meant for those who lost their jobs due to no fault of their own," Rice said in the release.

She added that the homeowners who placed trust in Timoney to file their deeds, mortgages, recording taxes and property taxes "could have had their homes sold out from under them, and insurance companies could have faced even more losses due to the fraudulent actions of a thief who brazenly took advantage of those unfortunate enough to do business with him."

Timoney pleaded guilty Wednesday before Nassau County Court Judge Christopher Quinn to two counts of second-degree grand larceny, a C felony, and two counts of third-degree grand larceny, a D felony. He is due in court for sentencing April 4.

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