State penalizes three for insurance fraud

News release from Department of Commerce and Insurance
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) announces disciplinary actions today against three former Tennessee licensees for misappropriation, failure to report administrative actions, and felony convictions involving fraud.

The punishments were the result of months of work by TDCI’s Insurance Fraud Investigations and Legal teams who ensure the protection of Tennesseans by holding licensees who are engaged in unlawful activity accountable for their misdeeds.

“In announcing these actions today, we hope Tennessee insurance consumers recognize that TDCI is here to help,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Michael Humphreys. “Every day our investigators and attorneys are tracking down alleged wrongdoing in order to protect Tennessee insurance consumers. If something doesn’t feel right, we encourage Tennesseans to contact our office for assistance.”

Details of the cases include:

John Paul Kill (Peachtree Corners, Ga.): As a result of a default hearing on Oct.15, 2015, an Order issued by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) became Final on Nov. 4, 2015, revoking John Paul Kill’s insurance producer license and imposing a $100,000 civil penalty. The penalty was based on a finding of 48 violations of the Tennessee insurance code for conduct involving the misappropriation of insurance premiums. The ALJ found that on 11 different occasions Kill collected premiums from clients for truck insurance, kept the funds, and never purchased policies totaling over $50,000 in misappropriated premiums. In addition, Kill was convicted of insurance fraud in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for misappropriating approximately $3,700,000 collectively from a total of 800 trucking companies across 22 states.

Richard Christopher Ferrell (Nashville, Tenn.): A Final Order issued by an ALJ and effective Nov. 5, 2015, revoked Richard Christopher Ferrell’s insurance producer license and imposed a $5,000 civil penalty for failing to report administrative actions that occurred in several other states. Ferrell was found to have committed five violations of Tennessee Insurance law. The violations began with the suspension of his Maine non-resident insurance producer license for encouraging a client to submit an inaccurate address to receive a reduced health insurance rate. Several other states took administrative actions when it was discovered that Ferrell failed to report actions taken in other states, including his failure to report to TDCI.

John Winston Fisher (Nashville, Tenn.): A Final Order, effective Nov. 11, 2015, has been issued revoking John Winston Fisher’s public adjuster license and imposing a $2,000 civil penalty. Pursuant to a default hearing held on Oct. 22, 2015, an ALJ found Fisher to have violated Tennessee insurance law for having been convicted of two felonies involving fraud. On Jan. 20, 2015, Fisher was convicted in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for two federal felony counts of Mail Fraud. Fisher was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay $582,836.23 in restitution to State Farm Insurance Company. The initial indictment contained facts charging Fisher with conspiracy to burn down a residential building and present a false claim for fire insurance coverage.

The Final Orders may be appealed in Chancery Court within 60 days of the Final Order.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance: TDCI is charged with protecting the interests of consumers while providing fair, efficient oversight and a level field of competition for a broad array of industries and professionals doing business in Tennessee. Our divisions include the Athletic Commission, Consumer Affairs, Tennessee Corrections Institute, Emergency Communications Board, Fire Prevention, Insurance, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Peace Officers Standards and Training, Regulatory Boards, Securities, and TennCare Oversight.