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November 24, 2020
LANSING – A former Genesee County insurance agent was sentenced to prison today for embezzling more than $90,000 from her clients and providing them with phony insurance certificates, leading them to believe they had insurance for their homes or automobiles when they actually didn't.
Angella Kay Swain, 53, of Flint appeared today before Judge Celeste D. Bell in Genesee County Circuit Court. Her sentencing follows a plea deal she entered in July in which she pleaded no contest to one count of conducting a criminal enterprise, 11 counts of embezzlement by an agent between $1,000 and $20,000, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
Judge Bell sentenced Swain to 20 months to 20 years' imprisonment. She'll begin serving her sentence on Jan. 11, 2021. She is also responsible for paying restitution of about $90,223 to 34 victims. She paid $12,000 of that Monday.
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Charges were filed in the case by the Attorney General's office in October 2018 after it was referred to the office by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).
"I am grateful for the partnership between my office and the Department of Insurance and Financial Services, as well as the commitment to justice that is clearly shared by all of us involved with this case," Nessel said. "Embezzlement is a crime my office takes very seriously and we will aggressively pursue justice by enforcing the laws that serve to protect our residents and consumers from fraudulent, predatory actions such as these."
"Ms. Swain's sentence makes it clear that there is no tolerance for fraud in the Michigan insurance industry, and it should serve as a warning to those who seek to exploit Michiganders," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "Our close partnership with the Attorney General's office and other law enforcement enables DIFS to protect consumers and bring criminals like Ms. Swain to justice."
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Between 2011 and 2016, Swain took insurance premiums from at least 34 of her clients and converted the money to her own use instead of remitting the premiums to the insurance companies. In many instances, Swain issued her clients false insurance certificates, leading her clients to believe they had homeowners or auto insurance coverage when they did not.
Swain was a licensed insurance producer and operated the Swain Agency from 2002 to 2013.
DIFS took enforcement actions against Swain in 2003, 2006 and 2009. In 2013, DIFS summarily suspended Swain's insurance producer license and permanently revoked it in December 2014 for misappropriating clients' premiums. In 2014, Swain continued to sell insurance without a license while working at her ex-husband's insurance agency, Select Insurance Agency.
The newly established DIFS Fraud Investigation Unit investigates criminal and fraudulent activity related to the insurance and financial markets and works with the Attorney General and law enforcement to prosecute these crimes. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS safely, easily and, in most cases, anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or by visiting DIFS' website.
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