Agent charged with theft and forgery

Agent charged with theft and forgery

An insurance agent in Pierce County has been charged with theft and forgery for allegedly collecting tens of thousands of dollars in payments from clients but not issuing them insurance.

Nancy M. Bishop, who did business as the Nancy Bishop Agency in Puyallup, Wash., was charged Thursday in Pierce County Superior Court with one count of first-degree theft and five counts of forgery.

In late 2009, our office received a complaint from the owner of a construction company. The owner said that she'd made multiple payments to Bishop, but that the company's policy had been cancelled for nonpayment. We launched an audit of Bishop -- which she twice tried to postpone. We found that she owed policyholders more than $131,000.

Our investigation found dozens of instances in which Bishop collected premiums but provided no insurance coverage. She continued to bill clients anyway. She overcharged some customers, according to the records. We found numerous instances in which she received refunds from a finance company but apparently failed to forward those refunds back to her customers.

We also found numerous cases in which forged certificates of insurance, with Nancy Bishop's name at the bottom, were sent to state regulators. Of the 24 such instances we found, there was no actual insurance.

Arraignment is scheduled for May 18.

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