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Insurance fraud: Missouri makes investigations a priority

We last wrote about insurance fraud in our February 25 post, in the context of healthcare fraud charges. There are also of course many types of insurance fraud that do not involve healthcare.

In a recent St. Louis insurance fraud case, a former insurance broker was sentenced to prison. Last week, a St. Louis County judge sentenced the 44-year woman to three years in prison after she pleaded guilty to a number of related offenses. These offenses included theft and forgery, as well as insurance fraud.

The criminal case grew out of an investigation by the Missouri Department of Insurance, acting on complaints from consumers. The investigation found that the woman had been selling insurance without a license and not passing along to any insurance company the premiums she collected.

The insurance department passed this information along to the St. Louis County police department. After a criminal investigation, the woman was arrested on insurance fraud, theft and forgery charges.

Technically, the woman's sentence is to three years on each of the three counts. But under her plea agreement, the sentences will run concurrently, not consecutively.

The prison sentence is not the only consequence the woman faces. She has also had her insurance broker's license revoked. The Missouri Department of Insurance also revoked the license of the company she worked for, VMG, Inc.

In fact, the state has revoked the licenses of more than two dozen insurance agents since the beginning of last year. Clearly the state is making the investigation of insurance fraud allegations a priority.

Source: "Former St. Louis County insurance agent sentenced to three years for fraud," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christine Byers, 4-5-13

Please visit our page on white-collar charges.

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