Former Insurance Agency Employee Pleads Guilty in Okla.

April 17, 2006

A former employee of Gore’s Southlake Insurance Agency was ordered to pay $20,479.93 in restitution after pleading guilty to six counts of violating Oklahoma’s Computer Crimes Act, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said.

Sabrina Diane Sands, 28, was charged July 21, 2005, in Sequoyah County District Court with six counts of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act after an investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

“Insurance fraud is a serious problem and increases the cost of insurance premiums for everyone,” said Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland. “I am very pleased with Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s diligent prosecution of this case and the success of the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Division in conducting their investigation.”

Sands was accused of converting policy holder premium payments to her own personal use. Three of the charges against her stem from allegations Sands pocketed the premium payments and then electronically submitted payments to the insurance company by debiting the Southlake account, causing a loss to the agency. The remaining counts allege Sands electronically obtained insurance for herself or her husband, and debited the premium payments from the Southlake account.

“We allege Sabrina Sands used the checks she took in from customers to replace money she had taken from cash deposits,” Edmondson said. “The insurance company unknowingly paid the customers’ policies without realizing the money wasn’t there. I am pleased that restitution will be made to her former employer.”

Sands was also ordered to serve a 10-year suspended sentence and pay $3,176 in court costs and a victims compensation assessment. Her insurance license was suspended in 2004 following the onset of the Insurance Department’s investigation.

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of insurance fraud, please call the Oklahoma Insurance Department at (405) 521-6614 or statewide toll-free at 1-800-522-0071.

Sands was prosecuted by the attorney general’s Insurance Fraud Unit. Edmondson’s Insurance Fraud Unit has statewide jurisdiction to prosecute insurance fraud. The attorney general’s Insurance Fraud Unit may be contacted at (405) 522-3403.

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office

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