WA Insurance Agent Jailed for Pocketing Businesses' Premiums
Olympia, WA (WorkersCompensation.com) - An insurance agent from Puyallup has been sentenced to jail for pretending to sell liability insurance coverage to small businesses and simply pocketing the money.
Nancy M. Bishop, who did business as the Nancy Bishop Agency, was sentenced Wednesday in Pierce County Superior Court to three months in jail, three months of electronic home monitoring, $3,300 in fines and fees, and $68,303 in restitution. She pleaded guilty last month to one count of first-degree theft and two counts of forgery.
“She hung these small businesses out to dry,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “They’d paid their insurance premiums, believing they had coverage, when in fact they had none.”
In late 2009, a construction company owner complained to Kreidler’s office, saying that she had made multiple payments to Bishop, but that her policy had been cancelled for nonpayment. That prompted a state audit of Bishop’s business -- which Bishop twice tried to postpone.
Kreidler’s Special Investigations Unit found dozens of instances in which Bishop collected premiums but provided no insurance coverage. She continued to bill clients anyway. Investigators also found numerous cases in which Bishop received refunds from a finance company, but she apparently kept that money, too.
The investigators also found two dozen cases in which fake certificates of insurance, with Nancy Bishop’s name at the bottom, were sent to state regulators.
In April 2011, Kreidler barred Bishop from doing any insurance business in Washington.