Huntsville Insurance Broker Indicted For Defrauding Customers
BIRMINGHAM -- A federal grand jury today indicted a Huntsville insurance broker for mail fraud in a scheme to divert customers' insurance premiums to his own benefit, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard D. Schwein Jr.
A one-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges that DAVID RANDALL "RAND" MULLINS, 45, caused Travelers Insurance Company to mail a policy cancellation notice for one of Mullins' customers from the company's office in Hartford, Conn., to Mullins' home address in Huntsville.
Mullins was an independent insurance broker and owner of Mullins Insurance Agency in Huntsville, which provided commercial, residential, automobile and workers compensation insurance. At least a dozen insurance companies, including Travelers, appointed Mullins to act on their behalf.
According to the indictment, it was part of Mullins' scheme to change customers' mailing addresses, without their knowledge, to his home address. The address changes ensured that those customers would not receive statements and notices sent from Travelers and other insurance companies.
Mullins conducted his fraud between January 2010 and December 2013 as follows, according to the indictment:
Mullins opened a bank account to receive customers' insurance premium payments, but also used the account to pay personal expenses. Without informing customers, he changed their premium payment schedules from annual payments to monthly payments. Mullins collected the full annual premium payment from the customer, deposited it into his bank account, and then sent the insurance provider a monthly payment. He used the difference for personal expenses.
Customers did not receive late payment or cancellation notices, or notices of the unauthorized changes to their payment plans or addresses because Mullins had diverted their mail from Travelers and other insurance companies to his address.
Mullins could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted of the mail fraud.
The FBI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes is prosecuting.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.