NEAR NORTH EXECUTIVE
Copyright 2002 www.variety.com
[ January 30th 2002 ]
North Insurance Brokerage chairman-CEO Michael
Segal was charged Monday with insurance and mail
fraud in connection with the embezzlement of more
than 20 million from the firm.
North is a sister company to Los Angeles-based
Intl. Film Guarantors, the largest completion
bond company in the independent motion picture,
studio and distribution industry. IFG is a limited
partnership between Near North National Group
and the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.
a major power broker in Chicago's political machine,
was arrested Saturday on federal charges of willfully
embezzling and misappropriating premiums from
Near North clients. There was no indication, however,
that the Segal charges were related to entertainment
clients. He was released later that day on a $750,000
unsecured signature bond.
Near North recently secured production coverage
for America's Sweethearts, The Score and Lara
Croft: Tomb Raider, while IFG bonded such films
as Gosford Park, Rat Race, The Score and The Curse
of the Jade Scorpion. The Near North roster of
entertainment clients also includes Spyglass Entertainment,
Revolution Studios, the Atlanta Braves, E! Entertainment
Television, Major League Baseball and Trump Hotels
& Casino Resorts.
made available on the Near North Web site, nnng.com,
outlined the situation as follows: "Last summer,
Michael Segal and Near North voluntarily disclosed
to the Illinois Dept. of Insurance that certain
accounting errors resulted in an imbalance in
the firm's premium fund trust account. With input
from the department, we made changes to our accounting
systems and corrected the imbalances without any
impact - financial or otherwise - on clients or
continues: "It came as a shock to learn that several
former Near North employees now claim that Mr.
Segal misappropriated funds and that those claims
have led federal authorities to file charges against
him personally. Mr. Segal vehemently denies any
wrongdoing and intends to use all the tools the
legal system provides to mount a vigorous defense.
It is important to note that Near North has not
been charged with any wrongdoing and its business
dealings are in full compliance with the law."
calls were forwarded to Near North senior VP John
Harney, who was unavailable late Tuesday.