Commissioner of Insurance Jim Brown says a search warrant was executed and records
were seized today from the office of an Alexandria insurance agent accused of taking
money from policyholders and not sending the premiums to the insurance company.
Brown said today's action is the latest investigation of alleged insurance fraud
across the state.
Alexandria City Police, along with the Louisiana Department of Insurance and State
Police, searched the office of the suspect, Eric D. Moran, 30, of 1400 King Richard,
#239, Alexandria. Mr. Moran's insurance agency is located at 3900 Sterx Rd., Suite
A, Alexandria. City Police had arrested Mr. Moran last week on eight counts of felony
theft. When the Police Department continued to receive complaints, the Department
of Insurance Fraud Unit and State Police Task Force on Insurance Fraud joined them
in launching a full scale investigation that led to today's action.
"Our investigation indicates that the eight charges of felony theft may only
be the tip of the iceberg," said Commissioner Brown. "The suspect allegedly
took money from some of his customers and pocketed the money without providing them
with any insurance. Issuing the cease and desist order and executing a summary suspension
of his insurance licenses was done to put a stop to any insurance fraud that may
have continued after his arrest," Brown said. "Now that the search warrant
has been executed, investigators are going through documents to determine how many
consumers may have been defrauded," added Brown.
Investigators believe the alleged wrongdoing involved several types of insurance.
Mr. Moran had been licensed with the Department of Insurance to sell life and health
insurance since July of 1992. He had held a property and casualty insurance license
since May of 1999.
Commissioner Brown said the Department of Insurance and State Police Task Force
on Insurance Fraud are continuing similar investigations around the state. Other
recent fraud arrests have been carried out in Monroe, Haynesville, Church Point,
Gretna, Independence, Denham Springs and Baton Rouge.
Commissioner Brown said consumers who have purchased insurance from Moran should
call their insurance company to learn if they are insured. A phone number for the
company should appear on their insurance papers. Policyholders who are having trouble
contacting their insurance company can call the Louisiana Department of Insurance
at 1-800-259-5300 for assistance, said Brown.
Insurance fraud is one of the factors driving up the cost of insurance, according
to Brown. In Louisiana, claims fraud alone is estimated at $2.3 billion a year.
Commissioner Brown said that adds up to about $1,600 a year per family in our state
in higher insurance premiums. "Insurance fraud is a major enterprise in Louisiana
that's costing us all. We want those people guilty of insurance fraud to know that
we are working hard to bring them down," said Brown.