March 19, 2021
LANSING – A former Flint insurance agent has been assigned to 24 months of probation under Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) status for selling fraudulent automobile insurance certificates to his clients, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced today.
Dillen Leonard, 25, appeared March 19th before Judge David J. Newblatt in the Genesee Circuit Court for selling fraudulent no-fault insurance certificates to his Flint-based clients.
In early February, Leonard pleaded guilty to four counts of insurance fraud, a four-year felony, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony. Leonard has been placed on HYTA status and is responsible for paying restitution of $25,000 to DIFS. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service.
Leonard allegedly 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 proof of insurance in order to apply for or renew their vehicle registrations. During July 2016, Leonard sold at least 30 fraudulent certificates.
“There is no shortage of bad actors seeking to take advantage of Michigan taxpayers, and my office stands ready to hold those who break our laws accountable,” Nessel said. "I am grateful for the continued collaboration with the Department of Insurance and Financial Services and their shared commitment to protect Michiganders.”
The case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by DIFS after the department received a complaint about Leonard’s alleged misconduct.
“Working with the Attorney General to prevent auto insurance fraud and ridding the insurance industry of criminals like Mr. Leonard are among our top priorities,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS easily and, in most cases, anonymously, so we strongly encourage consumers to speak up if they see something suspicious.”
The 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.