A former Oakdale, La., insurance agent was arrested and issued a cease and desist order on charges of fraud and misappropriation of funds, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon announced recently.
John Craig Welch, age 40, was arrested by the State Police Insurance Fraud Unit and booked into the Bossier Sheriff Correctional Facility in Benton on charges of felony theft. At the same time, members of the Department of Insurance Fraud Section ordered him to cease and desist from engaging in the business of insurance.
An investigation and audit found that Welch misappropriated premiums and other funds from his agency totaling over $20,000. It is alleged that after Welch collected premiums from policyholders and issued them a receipt he pocketed the money and generated an agency check to pay the insurance company. In addition, he would receive bonus checks from the agency for the premiums he collected.
No policyholders were believed to have been harmed by his actions, as all premiums were paid to the insurance companies where policies had been issued.
Department of Insurance records show that Welch held a life/health license from January 1998 until May 2002 and a property/casualty license from February 1997 until May 2003. He was issued a solicitor license in July 1993 that was later changed to an agent license.
Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance
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