Insurance agent sent to prison

A Warren area insurance agent was sentenced Friday for charges stemming from defrauding two elderly clients.

Judge Gregory Hammond sentenced Chad J. Goodwin, 5395 Market St., to between two and four years in a state correctional institution for two separate counts of theft by deception, one for each of his two victims.

“These aren’t strangers that you stole from,” Hammond told Goodwin prior to sentencing. “These were insurance clients… They trusted you with their money.”

Hammond handed down a sentence based on an optional, more severe minimum sentence based on justifiable cause as determined at a judge’s discretion.

He cited the age of the victims who were in their 60s and 70s, Goodwin’s position of trust, the amount of money stolen and Goodwin’s prior criminal record as factors in determining to use the harsher guidelines.

Goodwin claimed the incident was a result of a lapse in judgment as he faced financial difficulties due to an illness, a claim Hammond refuted.

“This type of crime isn’t new to you,” Hammond said, citing a history of fraud and forgery crimes. “You’ve been taking what doesn’t belong to you since long before you got sick.”

Hammond sentenced Goodwin to between one and two years incarceration in a state correctional institution and to have no contact with his victims for each of the two counts of theft by deception.

He was also ordered to pay a total of $9,180 in fines, costs and restitution.

Two charges each of identity theft and forgery were not prosecuted in exchange for Goodwin’s guilty plea to remaining charges.