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Hartford Insurance Scandal
Tue October 15, 2013
Financial Problems at Work, and at Home, for O'Garro
The story of hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing insurance premiums in the city of Hartford continues to unravel. And the man at the center of the drama appears to have significant financial problems of his own: one of his homes now faces foreclosure.
When he was a student at Wesleyan University, Earl O'Garro felt like it was a crime to be rich. At least, that's what he said in an online profile posted a few years back.
"At Wesleyan, I sort of felt like, you know, having these desires to be incredibly wealthy was an awful thing," he said. "Just this idea that you couldn't be socially conscious and financially affluent or successful. And so I kind of wanted to challenge that."
Now, it turns out his sought-after wealth may be crumbling. O'Garro runs Hybrid Insurance Group. His company is at the center of a saga that has ensnared Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud. A report questions whether Cloud steered the city's insurance business to O'Garro, who does business with Cloud's family. Cloud denied the charges.
Meanwhile, a clearer picture of O'Garro is coming into view. Not only has he failed to pay the city's $670,000 insurance premium, but the state said last week that his company defaulted on a $100,000 state loan. And then there's this. O'Garro bought a 5,000-square-foot home in Marlborough last year for $539,000.
Since then, he has cashed in on it, borrowing more than $800,000 against that property. Now, according to town documents, a company that gave O'Garro two of those loans said it plans to foreclose on one of them.
As for the third loan, worth about $530,000, O'Garro wasn't the only one on the hook for that money. He included his company, Hybrid, on the deed. All of the money has been borrowed since July, the same month when O'Garro was supposed to pay the city's insurance bill.
O'Garro's attorney declined to comment.
Update: After deadline, O'Garro's attorney Corey Brinson sent this statement: "Everything will be sorted out with the foreclosure action by the end of the week. There is no relationship between this and the matters pending at the Insurance Department. This is a private matter concerning a private residence."
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