June 08, 2016

Missouri insurance regulator investigation results in McDonald County agent guilty plea of insurance fraud

Jefferson City, Mo. - An investigation by the McDonald County Sheriff's Office with the support of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration (DIFP) recently led to the conviction of southwest Missouri insurance producer Brandon Gene Francisco. He was convicted of felony fraud in the business of insurance.

McDonald County Circuit Court Judge John R. LePage sentenced Francisco May 23, 2016 to seven­ years' incarceration and ordered restitution of $16,960 to be paid by Francisco, who pleaded guilty to deceiving a client by taking her money but not securing the insurance he promised.

"Maintaining consumer trust and confidence are important priorities for Missouri regulators," said John M. Huff, Director of the Missouri DIFP. "We are pleased that this investigation resulted in a conviction. I commend the work of our department's special investigations section, the McDonald County Sheriff's Office, and the prosecutor."

After receiving consumer tips against Francisco, the department's Consumer Affairs Division conducted a thorough investigation and on June 7, 2016, the director filed a lawsuit to discipline Francisco's insurance license for violating Missouri's insurance laws. 

The department previously fined Francisco in 2012 for similar violations. 

Consumers are encouraged to file complaints against agents or insurance companies they believe have violated Missouri law. Last year alone, the department processed 4,177 consumer complaints and took 230 enforcement actions in the public interest.

Missourians can also check the current license status of insurance producers by visiting the Insurance Agent/Agency Search on the department's website.

Consumers with complaints and general questions can call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390, or visit insurance.mo.gov.