By Associated Press - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Prosecutors say a former union official and an insurance broker have been charged after they defrauded a health care plan of about $6.6 million.

Sergio Acosta, the former president of United Auto Workers Local 2326, and broker Lawrence Ackerman, were charged Monday with conspiring to defraud Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and the union’s own plan.

Federal prosecutors say Ackerman, of Old Tappan, created two shell companies to market insurance to hundreds of people from across the country not employed by them. They say Acosta, of Passaic, let some of those people stay on the union’s plan after Horizon discovered they weren’t eligible.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the men had attorneys to comment on their behalf.

They face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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