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Friday, July 15, 2011
A former Edmond insurance agent faces a felony charge of embezzlement as the result of an investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit.
Insurance Commissioner John Doak and Attorney General Scott Pruitt have publicly partnered in an effort to crack down on insurance crimes in Oklahoma. Investigators at the Insurance Department found evidence that William J. Liebl, 30, of Okarche, defrauded a local couple by skimming part of their insurance premium payments. Based on that evidence, one felony charge of embezzlement was filed against Liebl by the Attorney General’s Office on June 29.
Liebl was at large until Thursday, when he turned himself in at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. The former agent’s license was first suspended and then revoked by the Insurance Department during this investigation, prior to charges being filed.
“I am committed to making Oklahoma a very dangerous place to be for insurance criminals,” said Commissioner Doak. “Each and every prosecution that we pursue should be another warning that the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit is serious about fulfilling my zero-tolerance policy toward insurance crime.”
The victims paid Liebl more than $2,000 in annual premiums for auto and home insurance coverage. However, investigation revealed that Liebl did not apply those payments to the victims’ insurance policies, but instead deposited them into his own personal credit union account.
Later, the victims’ home was damaged by a hailstorm and the insurer declined to pay for repairs, stating that the policy had been canceled due to nonpayment. Investigation discovered Liebl’s failure to forward the victims’ payment to the insurer, resulting in a felony count of embezzlement. The insurer also agreed to honor the victims’ hail damage claim.
Randy Brogdon, Deputy Commissioner of Fraud and Consumer Affairs at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, commended his officers for their work.
“The investigators in OID’s Anti-Fraud Unit are highly trained, experienced and dedicated to protecting Oklahoma’s consumers from insurance crimes,” Brogdon said. “Their hard work to root out the bad actors makes Oklahoma’s insurance market safer and better for consumers and honest insurers alike.”
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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