A Twin Cities insurance agent and art collector is accused of securing dozens of life insurance policies for one man totaling $127 million.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Friday that it has suspended Michael J. Antonello's insurance license and filed civil charges alleging insurance fraud and forgery. The department also suspended the license of his agency, Wealth Management Advisors of Minneapolis.
It alleges that Antonello, of New Brighton, secured 44 policies for John Paulson by misrepresenting the amount of coverage Paulson already had.
Antonello received large commissions from the sale of these policies and also profited from selling each of the policies to investors, according to the department. Several insurance companies have sued to rescind the policies and recover the commissions.
The department said this is the fourth case in which Antonello has fraudulently obtained multiple life insurance policies.
A newsworthy collection
Antonello could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. According to a Star Tribune article on Feb. 18, he owns almost 100 pieces of art, including works by John Singer Sargent, William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam and others. Pieces from his or his family's collection are on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art's "Noble Dreams & Simple Pleasures" exhibit, which runs through May 3.