Commissioner Revokes Two Insurance Producers’ Licenses
Insurance Commissioner Encourages Seniors to Consult with Family Member or Close Friend
DES MOINES, IOWA, December 30, 2013 - Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart today announced that he has revoked the licenses of two insurance producers doing business in Iowa, James Roberts of Omaha, Nebraska and Todd Miller of Ankeny. Commissioner Gerhart and his office regulate both the business of insurance and the sale of securities in Iowa.
Roberts, who no longer has a securities license, consented to the revocation of his insurance producer license based on multiple violations, including allegations that he made investment recommendations that were not suitable for the needs of the customer, obtained loans from a customer, and engaged in securities fraud. Roberts’ broker-dealer, Ameritas Investment Corp. returned $186,150 to an elderly investor in western Iowa as a result of the Iowa Insurance Division (IID) investigation into Robert’s conduct.
It has been widely reported that the fleecing by scammers of older Americans is growing. The Federal Trade Commission released a report that in 2012, people 60 years and older made up 26% of all fraud complaints it had tracked, the highest of any age group. This was up from 2008, when the level was just 10%, the lowest of any adult age group.
“Seniors should consider consulting with trusted family members or a close friend, along with their financial professionals, in these decisions. Seniors are more likely to be scammed if unscrupulous advisors believe they have successfully isolated the senior citizen from other people. Being alone is not a good option,” Gerhart said. “The known potential for the victimization of older Iowans was the reason we initiated our Fraud Fighters education campaign this year.”
Gerhart revoked the insurance producer license of Todd Miller based on allegations that Miller misappropriated $3,444 from a business association to pay claims by insurance customers because Miller had failed to forward premium or secure coverage for those customers. Miller was also revoked for failing to cooperate with the Insurance Division’s investigation.
The first step in protecting yourself from insurance fraud or investment fraud is to research the agent and company you are considering. Always stop before writing a check, signing a contract or giving out personal information and call the IID at 877-955-1212 or visit the state website at www.iid.state.ia.usand confirm that the agent and company are licensed to write insurance or sell investments in Iowa. The second step is to take as much time as you need to carefully consider your options. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A trusted family member or friend may help you make a careful decision that is right for you. Valuable information about avoiding being trapped by fraud can be found at IID’s dedicated website, www.iowafraudfighters.gov .
About the Iowa Insurance Division
The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) has general control, supervision and direction over all insurance and securities business transacted in the state, and enforces Iowa’s insurance and securities laws and regulations. The IID investigates consumer complaints and prosecutes companies, agents and brokers engaging in unfair or deceptive trade practices. Consumers with insurance or securities-related questions or complaints may contact the IID toll free at 877-955-1212 or visit the Division on the web at www.iid.state.ia.us.
Iowa Insurance Division
Two Ruan Center
601 Locust Street, 4th Floor
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-3738
December 30, 2013
Contact: Tom Alger, Communications Director