Lenexa man admits embezzling from Missouri insurance fund

A Lenexa man pleaded guilty in Jefferson City federal court to embezzling more than $1.3 million from a state insurance fund, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported Tuesday.

Robert L. Fine II, 52, owned FINEnvironmental Inc., a Missouri firm he operated from his Kansas home. For 10 years beginning in 2002, he submitted inflated invoices from subcontractors to the state’s Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund for payment, prosecutors said.

The program, which is funded by fees assessed to petroleum companies and property owners who use or operate storage tanks, pays to clean up spills or leaks from the tanks.

Fine agreed to pay $1.5 million in restitution, which included the loss amount and other related costs. Prosecutors said he paid $350,000 Tuesday and promised to submit the balance within 60 days.

Mark Morris, mmorris@kcstar.com