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Insurance Agent 's Records are Seized and Insurance License Suspended for Alleged Falsifying of License Applications and Misappropriation of Premiums

Lafayette- A Lafayette insurance agent's records were seized and her insurance license suspended today for alleged misappropriation of funds and falsifying insurance records, said Acting Insurance Commissioner J. Robert Wooley.

Phyllis Malveaux Breaux, 38, business address, 612 Surrey Street, Lafayette, is accused of participating in a number of cases of insurance fraud. Louisiana State Police West District detectives from Lafayette and members of the State Police Insurance Fraud Unit executed the search warrant. Office records were seized to assist with determining misappropriation claims. In conjunction with this action, Louisiana Department of Insurance fraud investigation officials served Ms. Breaux with a Summary Suspension of her license and a Cease and Desist Order forbidding her from conducting any activity involving the business of insurance.

Ms. Breaux is alleged to have accepted cash payment from clients, then failing to forward those payments to the insurance company. She also allegedly made false statements to the Department of Insurance on two separate license applications. The investigation leading to today's action was a cooperative effort of the Department of Insurance and Louisiana State Police, Acting Commissioner Wooley said.

"The investigation is continuing in this case," said Wooley. Policyholders who have insurance with Ms. Breaux are urged to check with the insurance company right away. "Policyholders should find a toll-free number for the company listed on the face of the insurance policy," Wooley said.

Ms. Breaux had held a property & casualty insurance license since April of 1994.

Anyone who has problems contacting the insurance company or still has questions about insurance coverage after talking with the company should call the Louisiana Department of Insurance, toll-free, at 1-800-259-5300, for help in determining whether they really have the insurance they paid for, Wooley said. Department phones are staffed from 8 to 6 weekdays.

Wooley said today's actions are part of a sweep being made around the state.
"Insurance Fraud is a huge problem in Louisiana. Claims fraud alone in our state is estimated at $2.3 billion a year," said Wooley. "And that does not even include agent fraud," he said. He also noted that most agents are honest and hard working.