ADEL, GA (WALB) - Monday afternoon, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced the Friday arrest of a Cook County insurance agent on multiple charges related to misappropriating of insurance premiums.
Teresita D. Heard, 47, a sub-agent with Cory Bromlow Insurance and Financial Services, in Adel, Georgia, was arrested Friday March 13, and charged with seven counts of insurance fraud, one count of forgery in the first-degree, one count of forgery in the third-degree, and 18 counts of theft by taking.
An investigation by Hudgens' Fraud Division revealed that between 2010 and 2014, Heard allegedly stole premiums for personal and commercial insurance from her clients instead of forwarding the money to the insurance company for coverage. At the time of the theft, Heard was employed by Tracie Hart Insurance and Financial Services, in Adel. Fraud investigators believe that more than $4,000 has been embezzled.
“Heard's actions have put consumers and businesses at great financial risk,” said Hudgens. “I will not tolerate any insurance agent stealing from Georgia consumers.”
Heard has been released from the Cook County Jail on bond and disciplinary action against her license to sell insurance is currently under review. The case will be prosecuted by the Cook County District Attorney's Office.
Hudgens urges anyone who conducted insurance transactions with Heard to contact the insurance company listed on their policy to be sure they have the coverage they paid for, or contact the Commissioner's Consumer Services Division at 1-800-656-2298.
Insurance fraud is a felony with a penalty of two to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.