OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City man is facing felony charges for scamming a Moore couple out of $3,577.53. The money was part of the insurance settlement the couple received after their home was damaged in the March 25, 2015 tornado.
“We will not tolerate scam artists going after storm victims,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “It’s extremely difficult to put your life back together after a traumatic event. For someone to take advantage of people in a vulnerable situation is extremely disturbing.”
An investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s (OID) Anti-Fraud Unit found that Antario Brown, 36, led the victims to believe he was a public adjuster and that his services were required to process their insurance claim. Not only is a public adjuster not required to process a claim, but Brown has never been a licensed public adjuster.
The victims, both 78 at the time, signed a contract with Brown allowing him to negotiate with the insurance company on their behalf in exchange for 7 percent of the final insurance settlement. Brown then contacted a licensed public adjuster to perform the service. The legitimate adjuster charged the client an additional 10 percent fee. She later contacted OID after learning the victims also paid Brown. When OID investigators spoke to Brown he claimed he was paid as a consultant.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office charged Brown with one count of obtaining by false pretense.
“I know Attorney General Scott Pruitt takes these crimes as seriously as I do and I appreciate his hard work on this case,” said Doak.
If convicted, Brown faces up to 10 years in prison.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.