February 10, 2021
LANSING – A former Flint insurance agent has pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced today.
Dillen Leonard, 25, appeared today in Genesee County Circuit Court before Judge David Newblatt and pleaded guilty to four counts of insurance fraud, a four-year felony, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, which is a seven-year felony in this instance.
Leonard sold or offered customers fraudulent certificates of insurance that appeared to be legitimate and knew that his clients were presenting the documents to the Secretary of State as insurance in order to apply for or renew their vehicle registrations. During July 2016, Leonard sold at least 29 fraudulent certificates.
The case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by DIFS after the department received complaints and investigated Leonard’s alleged misconduct.
“This is an excellent example of an individual attempting to manipulate our regulated insurance system to his advantage, and the serious legal consequences that result when our laws are broken,” Nessel said. “I am grateful for the support from the Department of Insurance and Financial Services in resolving this matter and its vigilance in safeguarding Michigan residents from fraudulent acts like this.”
“Auto insurance fraud leads to increased costs for every driver, which is why DIFS and the Attorney General are committed to investigating and prosecuting these cases,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Drivers should know that driving without insurance is illegal and puts their families at risk. What’s more, Michigan’s new auto insurance law give drivers new, lower-cost coverage options, and uninsured drivers can now get coverage without fees or penalties for a prior gap in coverage if they sign up before Jan. 1, 2022.”
Leonard is scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. March 19.
The newly established DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or online by visiting the department’s website.
For more about Michigan’s new auto insurance law, the state has additional information on its website.