The Illinois Department of Insurance reported that a licensed insurance agent, Larry Chouinard of Kankakee, has been arrested for allegedly defrauding 13 businesses of nearly $370,000.
Bradley, Ill., police arrested Chouinard after the Illinois Attorney General unsealed a 19-count indictment alleging that Chouinard engaged in a 5-year scheme through which he collected and personally used tens of thousands of dollars intended for workers’ compensation insurance premiums, including payments from Bourbonnais Township and 13 area businesses, the insurance department said.
Chouinard operated Bradley-based Chouinard Agency. Department investigators coordinated efforts with both the Bradley Police Department and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, which drafted the indictment alleging that, beginning in 2003, Chouinard accepted nearly $370,000 in payments from clients that he then converted for personal use.
Additionally, Chouinard is said to have forged insurance documents provided to customers, misleading them to believe they had purchased valid insurance coverage.
Chouinard’s scheme began to unravel in February 2008 when Bourbonnais Township filed a civil suit against Chouinard for alleged insurance fraud. On Feb. 21, 2008, Chouinard falsely reported that he was the victim of an armed robbery at his Bradley office. Two days later, Chouinard was arrested and charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false police report.
The current arrest is based on Chouinard’s alleged insurance fraud scheme.
Source: Illinois Department of Insurance, www.idfpr.com/doi/
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