Agency owner hit with cease and desist order over “clerical error”
An insurance agent based in Louisiana has been served a cease and desist order over accusations that he had misappropriated his clients’ payments.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance issued the order to Matthew Sias, agency owner of MSJ INS LLC, alleging that Sias misappropriated the insurance premiums he collected on more than one occasion.
According to one of the investigators on the case, Sias accepted premium payments from multiple clients, but failed to remit their premiums – resulting in the cancelation of policies. State officials also alleged that Sias and his agency MSJ had been previously issued regulatory actions for similar offenses in the past.
“Louisiana policyholders depend on agents to assist them in securing one of the most important purchases many of us will ever make and a breach of that trust will not be tolerated in Louisiana,” said state insurance commissioner Jim Donelon. “I urge any consumers who have information about Mr. Sias or MSJ to come forward.”
Sias and his firm have 30 days from the time of service to request an administrative appeal, or the cease & desist order will become final.
Speaking to KATC News, Sias said that the latest allegations against him were related to two “clerical errors” made, and that his insurance firm had made good on both mistakes. He claimed that in both cases, his firm handed out checks to the clients to make them whole. For one case, he wrote a check to the customer. In the other, Sias wrote a refund check to the customer and then paid additional funds into the customer’s escrow account.
“In both cases, we cut checks to the clients,” Sias told KATC News. “Nothing is owed to the customers now.”