FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2018
(LANSING) - With the issuance of Executive Order 2018-9, the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is continuing to ramp up its efforts to investigate and prosecute fraud in the insurance and financial services sectors.
In March, DIFS launched a new webpage, www.mi.gov/InsuranceFraud, that enables consumers and the insurance industry to report fraud. Since that time, DIFS has received 167 complaints of fraud from consumers and 68 complaints from the industry. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ received 3,453 suspected insurance fraud claims from Michigan last year.
The timing of this Executive Order coincides with increased efforts at DIFS to address fraudulent activity. The Department recently announced the revocation of a producer license for embezzlement of over $15,000, the arrest of a producer suspected of fraudulently abusing his authority as the Power of Attorney for an Alzheimer’s Dementia patient, and the conviction of Stanley Hayes on 13 felony counts resulting from his theft of $710,000 from the Valley State Credit Union.
“The Department is pleased that the Governor sees the value of placing an anti-fraud unit within the Department of Insurance and Financial Services,” said DIFS Director Patrick McPharlin. “Insurance fraud touches all consumers and is not a victimless crime. Insurance fraud schemes vary from the simple to the extremely complex. With this Executive Order, DIFS can more aggressively engage in crime fighting efforts.”
In addition to the already existing anti-fraud efforts at DIFS, the Executive Order will empower DIFS to conduct more thorough and comprehensive background checks and to coordinate and collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute fraudulent and criminal activities in the insurance and financial services sectors.