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Thursday, July 11, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY – A former Bixby insurance agent has been sentenced to ten months home confinement after pleading guilty to wire fraud that allowed him to illegally take commissions earned by other insurance agents. The conviction comes after an investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) Anti-Fraud Unit.
Christopher M. Bland, 36, was indicted on 14 counts of wire fraud, 12 counts of making false statements to a financial institution and six counts of aggravated identity theft. As part of a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
“We take insurance fraud very seriously,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Oklahoma consumers have to be able to trust the insurance agents they deal with. If he will steal from his employees, a consumer might be next. Not under my watch. I will do everything I can to protect consumers from unscrupulous characters.”
Bland, who owned and managed Business Consultants of South Tulsa, admitted to a scheme to defraud Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. and various insurance agents in his offices. He admitted opening bank accounts for agents without their permission, forging their signatures then taking their commissions.
Bland was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $15,197 in restitution and a $5,000 fine. Bland is also expected to perform 80 hours of community service.
Consumers who suspect insurance fraud are encouraged to call the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit at 405-521-6614.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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