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AG Nessel, DIFS Announce Felony Charges Against Flint Man in Fraudulent Automobile Insurance Scheme
September 10, 2020
LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Financial Services (DIFS) today announced multiple felony charges against a Flint man for selling fraudulent automobile insurance certificates to his clients.
Dillen Leonard, 24, is charged with four counts of selling counterfeit insurance certificates and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. Selling counterfeit insurance certificates is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Using a computer to commit a crime is also a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Leonard was arraigned on the charges Wednesday in Genesee County’s 67th District Court.
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 insurance in order to apply for or renew their vehicle registrations. During July 2016, Leonard reportedly sold at least 29 of the fraudulent certificates.
“The professionals at the Department of Insurance and Financial Services share my concern for protecting Michiganders from fraudulent activities, and I’m grateful for the partnership between our two offices,” Nessel said. “There are plenty of bad actors who will try to take advantage of unsuspecting victims, and my office will remain actively engaged in our duties to safeguard against those activities and prosecute those who break our laws.”
The case was referred to the Attorney General’s office by DIFS after the department received a complaint about Leonard’s alleged misconduct.
“Selling and using fraudulent insurance certificates is a felony, and DIFS and the Attorney General will continue to pursue these investigations to protect Michigan consumers,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “There is no better time for Michiganders who risked driving without insurance to get coverage. Michigan’s new auto insurance law provides new, lower cost coverage options, and, for a limited time, insurers cannot penalize drivers for having been uninsured.”
Leonard is scheduled for a probable cause conference at 11 a.m. Sept. 17 before Judge Christopher Odette in Genesee County District Court.
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.
Please note: A criminal charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants, but one may be available from the booking agency.