Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Carroll Fisher issued an emergency order halting the operations of a Tulsa-area insurance agency pending an investigation into the activities of its directors.
The agency, Integra Financial Group Inc., has several “sub-agents” across the country selling insurance on its behalf. Several of those sub-agents contacted the Oklahoma Insurance Department after their paychecks were returned unpaid.
When officials with the department attempted to contact the agency or its owners Pamela Christopher and Gary Christopher, both of Broken Arrow, they reportedly found the agency closed with a notice inside the building from the landlord saying that Integra was in default. The locks had been changed.
State law requires insurance agents to notify the Oklahoma Insurance Department when a change of address occurs. The department was not notified by either the agency or the Christophers regarding an address change.
Fisher’s order prohibits the insurance companies from paying commissions to the Christophers and Integra.
“With this kind of behavior, we were concerned not only for the money owed the sub-agents, but also that the problem could spill over and affect policyholders,” Fisher said. “Hopefully, we will be able to resolve the problem before it gets to the point policyholders are affected.”
The Christophers have 30 days in which to request a hearing on the matter.
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