Former Manning Riddell Employee Speaks Out on Alleged Fraud

February 18, 2004

Insurance Journal was recently contacted by a former employee of Manning Riddell Insurance Services Inc., the Torrance-based risk purchasing group reportedly under investigation by the California Department of Insurance for allegedly issuing hundreds of bogus errors & omissions policies to agents across the country.

Stacey Hendrix was employed as an account executive with Manning Riddell from 1996 to Oct. 2002. “Under no circumstances was I involved in any way with the alleged fraud against Manning Riddell mentioned in your article,” Hendrix told IJ. “I first heard about the investigation almost a year after I had left the company.” Hendrix also said two other employees, Cecilia Estrada and Leticia Munoz, had nothing to do with the alleged fraudulent activities.

Hendrix said she resigned from the company in October 2002 due to an ongoing dispute between Manning Riddell and ProSurance Group, the MGA representing Illinois Union Insurance Company and then Dakota Specialty. Hendrix said that policyholders were harassing her and her fellow employees “with no protection from our employer.

“I feel that the harrassment was a direct result to the withholdings of the premium that Manning Riddell was to forward to ProSurance Group,” she explained. “During that time, I recall that Manning Riddell was trying to find another insurance company to write such a specialized program and then would move all the insureds and their respective premiums over to the new company. The delay in finding another insurance company caused an uproar with agents who needed special forms signed by the insurance company for their proof of coverage to send to the Department of Insurance in their state. ProSurance wouldn’t provide the necessary forms, as they had not received the insureds’ premiums.”

Hendrix said that it did not appear that fraudulent activity was going on at the time, but simply that Manning Riddell was trying to resolve their dispute with ProSurance and move their policyholders into a new program under a different carrier.

“As employees of Manning Riddell, we were caught in the middle of all of this. I turned in my resignation as my mental and physical health was worth more to me than my job. With my resignation, they terminated Cecilia Estrada and Leticia Munoz stating that since I was their immediate supervisor that there was no work for them. They asked us not to come back to the building and that they would “find a way” to send us our personal belongings. After working for them for six years, I was shocked at this treatment.”

Hendrix said that while she was employed at Manning Riddell, both Margaret Manning and Christine Riddell acted in a professional manner. “They were both very respected in the industry,” she said. “I don’t know of them performing any fraudulent activities with the money [premiums collected on behalf of ProSurance].”

According to Hendrix, only three employees remained after her resignation: Stacy Anne Wilbanks (License # 0C01874), Kathie Fenison and Roni Cash.

Insurance Journal will continue to bring you new information as it becomes available.

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