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Thursday, January 20, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak today announced a reorganization of the department’s anti-fraud division.
The reorganization comes at the behest of Deputy Commissioner Randy Brogdon, Doak’s chief advisor in the areas of consumer affairs, fraud and advocacy for seniors. Brogdon told Doak that the state’s insurance investigators were spending most of their time investigating citizens rather than major incidents of fraud committed against citizens.
“I asked Deputy Commissioner Brogdon to evaluate the division. He found that it had lost sight of its core mission and recommended a complete overhaul,” Doak said. “The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Division must focus on the white collar crime that threatens our policyholders.”
Brogdon found that the anti-fraud division had 142 open cases. Of those, 120 involve complaints by insurance companies against their policyholders. “It’s the state’s job,” Brogdon said, “to protect its citizens. Insurance companies have their own investigative divisions intended to cut company losses by probing cases of fraud by policyholders.
“The companies need to handle their own claims,” Brogdon said. “Investigating policyholders is not a function of the insurance department.”
“The anti-fraud division has 22 open cases of significant fraud by companies against consumers. Those are the types of cases that the Insurance Department must doggedly pursue,” Brogdon added. “Most of the companies in Oklahoma are doing the right thing. The few bad actors are costing all of us.”
The anti-fraud division’s leader is ready to move forward with his team’s new marching orders.
“We welcome the opportunity to focus the anti-fraud division’s full-time attention on consumer protection,” said Rick Wagnon, chief and director of OID’s anti-fraud unit. “Serving the citizens of Oklahoma is our core mission and we are excited to pursue this important strategic initiative.”
“Leaving companies to investigate their own claims of fraud will reduce the workload in the Insurance Department’s anti-fraud unit, allow investigators to focus on consumer protection, and result in significant budget reductions,” Commissioner Doak added.
“By focusing on the core mission of the department we are going to save Oklahomans $323,000,” Doak said. “I am pleased that Randy is finding ways to streamline government, save the taxpayers’ money, and accomplish the mission. That is why I need people like Randy Brogdon.”
The division will have six fewer investigators as a result of the reorganization.
Doak also announced the hiring of Michael Coleman as a member of the legal division. Coleman is an experienced international fraud and corruption prosecutor, who has successfully convicted top government officials. As a member of the department’s legal division, he will work closely with the anti-fraud division to fight white collar crime.
“We plan to upgrade the division to focus on white collar crime,” Doak said. “Michael brings the skills that we need to fulfill the mission of the anti-fraud division. We are upgrading the division, reducing the size, refocusing on the core mission, and saving money.”
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ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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