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May 22, 2014

Agent convicted in Chamber fraud case

 A 62-year-old insurance agent linked to the scandal that toppled former Otsego County Chamber president Rob Robinson was convicted on two charges Friday by an Otsego County Court jury.

Norman J. Michaels Jr. of Katonah was convicted of one count of third-degree grand larceny and one count of scheming to defraud in the first degree, Otsego District Attorney John Muehl said.

The jury found Michaels not guilty of one count of fourth-degree grand larceny.

Michael is expected to be sentenced this summer by Otsego County Judge John Lambert.

State officials said last year that Michaels took $62,000 in commissions in a scheme that victimized MVP, a firm based in Schenectady.

The policies were enticing to people in the New York City suburbs, officials said, because they were less expensive than what was being offered in their local area.

Muehl said Michaels claimed he did not realize that by enrolling people who lived outside the region in the insurance program that the insurance carrier was being defrauded.

Robinsson is awaiting trial on related charges. He was fired from the Otesgo County Chamber in 2011.

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