Julius Erat Fined; Sought to Defraud

by Laurel | February 6th, 2014

12 June 1922

Pays $350 For Making False Statement in Insurance Applications

Northampton, June 12 — Julius Erat of Easthampton, charged with attempting to defraud insurance companies of $87,500, was fined $350 at the opening of the original section of the superior court this morning. He paid. this was a case which attracted widespread attention because of an elaborate plan for Erat to obtain a large amount of life insurance and then disappear, leaving apparent evidence that he had been drowned in one of the Holyoke canals. Erat pleaded guilty to one of five counts, alleging violation of the insurance laws by claiming, when he took out insurance, that he had no other insurance. Julius and his brother, Adolph, pleaded nolo contendere to charges of conspiracy. These cases were placed on file.

District Attorney T. J. Hammond, in moving for sentence, said that Julius had obtained $87,500 of insurance from the Boston Mutual, Metropolitan, Prudential, New York Life, Massachusetts Mutual and John Hancock Companies. he had tried to secure $75,000 additional insurance, but had been refused. After obtaining the first policy, he had been guilty of misrepresentation in claiming ht he had no insurance.

After a large amount of insurance had been assured, Erat’s automobile was run against the railing at one of the Holyoke canals, his had was left in the machine, he said, and there was evident attempt to convey the impression that Erat had been thrown into the canal and drowned. A few days later Erat was found in New York. After his return, Erat made restitution of $125 for damage done the canal railing. The insurance companies did not suffer loss. They canceled the policies and returned the premiums to Erat.

District Attorney Hammond asked for a fine sufficient to indicate that such attempts could not be made with impunity. David Foley appeared for Erat and read letters from Easthampton citizens, showing that the defendant had borne an excellent reputation.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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