Monday, September 12, 2011

Tacoma insurance agent charged with theft

An insurance agent in Tacoma has been charged with theft for misppropriating checks from dozens of policyholders.

Michel Anthony James, an independent contractor working as an agent for State Farm, is believed to have deposited checks from more than 40 policyholders into his own business bank account. State Farm discovered the problems when it audited James' accounts.

Based on a subsequent iinvestigation by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler's Special Investigations Unit, James:
  •  failed to apply premiums to policies,
  • wrongly withdrew cash from his premium fund account (which is where those policyholder checks were supposed to go),
  • failed to refund overpayments to policyholders,
  • and violated contractual agreements with State Farm.
He has been charged in Pierce County Superior Court with one count of first-degree theft.