http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 1067.storyAllstate sues to recoup embezzled moneyAllstate sues former employee, seeking to recoup $760,000 he embezzled
By Alexandra Chachkevitch, Chicago Tribune reporter
June 27, 2013
Allstate Insurance Corp. has sued an imprisoned former employee, seeking restitution of the $760,700 he embezzled.
The Northbrook-based insurance company, which filed the lawsuit on June 14, alleges that Ricardo Campos Jr., 36, manipulated the time of death for at least three beneficiaries, funneling the company's funds into his personal accounts over the course of about six years.
Campos, formerly of Grayslake, pleaded guilty to theft in April, and is currently serving a five-year sentence at Vandalia Correctional Center.
Campos, who worked at Allstate's Northbrook headquarters for about 14 years as a senior claims examiner, was responsible for "inspecting and investigating structured settlement payment claims," making sure the payments stopped when the beneficiaries died, according to court documents.
Allstate first discovered Campos' scheme in June 2012.
"The issue was identified during a routine audit conducted by the company," said Laura Strykowski, an Allstate spokeswoman, in an email. No customers were affected, she said.
In one case, Campos used the account of a beneficiary who died in Aug. 11, 2006, to embezzle around $620,000 over about five years. He swapped the person's date of death with a future one and altered his banking information on at least 30 different occasions, according to court records.
In doing so, Campos tricked the company's system into believing that the beneficiary was still alive and should be receiving his monthly payments, which then were transferred into a bank account under a fictional name of Kelicia M. Cams, a pseudonym Campos admitted using, according to court documents.
Campos said he used the money on personal items and gambling, court records show, but didn't keep track of it.
He expressed surprise at being caught, records indicate.
"It's a death claim," Campos said, according to a transcript of a recorded statement from last July. "No one is really, like, looking at them. Once you close out the policy, then it's closed."