Insurance Agent Convicted in Scam; Victims Asked to Come Forward
An insurance broker who sold phony policies to more than two-dozen companies pled guilty on March 12 to fraud, the California Department of Insurance reported. Terry L. Ballard of West Sacramento, CA, was sentenced to a six-year suspended prison term and must make full restitution to the 26 firms he victimized. Ballard specialized in commercial car fleet insurance, workers’ compensation policies, and general liability policies through his company, Multi Unit Insurance Services. The majority of his victims were small, independent construction firms. Ballard collected premiums from these companies and issued the owners bogus certificates of authenticity, but kept the money for himself rather than remit it to the intended insurance carrier. The scam became evident when a policyholder, Pacific Bay Construction of Martinez, CA, discovered their liability coverage was invalid after accidentally rupturing a public water main. As a result, the water district’s insurance company sued Pacific Bay to cover the cost of repairs. Those who believe they are also victims of Ballard’s scams can request restitution by calling the California Department of Insurance at (916) 492-3400 and filing an application by the May 11 deadline. To verify your insurance coverage and avoid insurance fraud, call the CDI Help Line at 800-927-HELP or visit the Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov.