Manning Riddell Co-Owner Pleads Guilty to Bogus E&O Coverage

June 6, 2011

Margaret Murray Manning of Redondo Beach, Calif., has been found guilty of six felony counts for violating section 550(b) (3) of the California Insurance Code, for allegedly issuing more than 1,000 phony errors and omissions policies for life insurance agents in some 30 states.

According to California Department of Insurance investigators, Manning was a co-owner of Manning Riddell Insurance Services Inc. Together with her business partner Christine Joann Riddell, 68, of Redondo Beach, they sold errors and omission insurance policies nationwide. Evidence from the CDI investigation found that after clients filed applications and made payments online, the agents did not place policy coverage — nor did they forward premium payments to any insurance company.

Riddell pled guilty in 2010 to six felony counts for violating section 550(b) (3) of the Insurance Code and six felony counts for violating section 487(a) of the Penal Code. Manning was sentenced to 90 days in jail, three years probation and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. Riddell was sentenced to three years probation. Both were ordered to give up their rights to $130,000 that was seized for restitution to their victims, and both have surrendered their licenses to sell insurance.

Although Insurance Journal unveiled information about the Manning Riddell investigation in 2004 and 2005, due to the court processes — continuances, due process, etc. — the case did not come to finality until now, according to Dave Althausen, deputy press secretary for the California Department of Insurance.

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