An insurance company netted profits of US$4 million (HK$30.92 million) by swindling a shocked and grieving son out of funds from his dead father's policy, a court heard yesterday. Bruce Baron, 48, whose father Howard was shot dead in 1972, said the huge sum gained in interest on the US$110,000 policy may have been the motive for the fraud. He claims he was duped by a close family friend, insurance agent Ilet Fredericks, who told him the personal accident policy was not paid up and did not cover murder. Mr Baron said he spoke to the agent two days after his father was killed and was told: 'Murder is not an accident - forget it kid.' It was not until 19 years later, during a casual chat with a friend in the insurance business, that the son discovered he had been deceived, the court heard. Launching his battle for the money, Mr Baron said he had trusted Mr Fredericks, adding: 'It still upsets me.' At the time of his father's death he had been 23 years old and was shocked, grieving and lacking legal knowledge. Mr Baron accused Hartford Fire Insurance Company of adopting the agent's deception in order to avoid paying out. 'They knew what this gullible kid had been told. They took advantage of the situation to avoid paying out on the policy and to gain profit from it,' he told the judge. Mr Baron claimed the company had decided to 'just let this particular claim fall between the cracks'. He said he launched an investigation into the affair in 1990 and discovered that the policy had been paid up and did cover murder. The police knew he was entitled to a pay-out but chose not to tell him, the court heard. Investigations were secretly conducted by the insurance company with a view to rejecting any claim on the policy. But no one told Mr Baron his family was entitled to the money, it was alleged. Mr Baron said his mother died in 1987 without receiving a cent. He claimed Mr Fredericks had gone on to be managing director of a company which collapsed in 1974 after swindling investors out of millions of dollars. The policeman in charge of the murder investigation had been arrested for corruption in 1973 and later jailed, he added. Mr Justice Conrad Seagroatt warned Mr Baron to be careful not to make unfair comments but added that he understood it was difficult for the son to remove any sense of emotion. The case continues at the Court of First Instance on Monday. Mr Baron has brought the action against the Insurance Company of North America and I.H. Fredericks and Associates Ltd, as well as Hartford Fire Insurance Company and Mr Fredericks.