Auto Insurance Agent Steals Premium Payments

Here we go again!  AnotherA local insurance agent in the state of Virginia is now facing federal charges pertaining to fraud.

Virginia insurance agent Graham Hutson Messer, 32, a resident of Bremo Bluff, Va., was arrested in late September after being charged with 13 counts of mail fraud. On September 12, Messer was charged in a sealed indictment. This indictment was only unsealed after he was arrested by authorities.

The indictment showed that Messer is an independent insurance agent in Virginia offering different insurance products to Va. residents from a number of insurers. Reportedly, Messer sells policies from the Chartis Inc., the Farmers Insurance, Granite State Insurance Company, the Main Street America Group and the Nautilus Insurance Group, but not limited to them.

The indictment records showed that Messer instructs his clients to send their insurance payments directly to him, and that he would remit such premium payments to the insurers himself. However, instead of getting the money to the insurers, Messer allegedly embezzled these funds for his personal use. Messer was further alleged to have made believe his clients that they have insurance coverage where in accordingly, they have none.

Messer’s case is being investigated by the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, the Charlottesville Police Department, the Albemarie County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If the said Va. local insurance agent would be convicted in the suit filed against him, he might face a possible penalty of imprisonment with a maximum of 20 years and fines up to $3.5 million or $250,000 for each count of mail fraud.

Virginia state authorities in 2011 were able to make 231 arrests for insurance fraud and other related offenses. Insurance fraud does not only hurt the insurance companies but more importantly it affects all Americans. Insurance fraud cases results in federal cases for such occurrences are in violation of federal law.