Ill. Insurer Allegedly Defrauded Carnival Operators

Insurance regulators in Kentucky and Nebraska are investigating an Illinois-based insurance company for allegedly defrauding amusement industry operators in Kentucky and Nebraska.

Richard A. Brooks & Associates Ltd., an insurance company operated by River Forest, Ill. resident Richard Brooks, allegedly sold bogus insurance policies indicating coverage from Lloyd’s of London to carnival and circus vendors, regulators reported.

An inspector with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture received a certificate indicating coverage at Lloyd’s of London through Richard Brooks and Associates, during the routine inspection of an amusement company. But Lloyd’s denied the certificate was authentic, and further investigation revealed that Brooks is not a licensed insurance agent, agency or insurer.

Illinois officials are cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of Brooks, said Susan Hofer, a spokeswoman with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Insurance Division.

Hofer said the department is aware of complaints against Brooks, but declined to elaborate due to the federal investigation.