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Former Billings agent ordered to pay $86K for defrauding insurance company

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Oct 25, 2023

BILLINGS - A former Billings insurance agent must pay back more than $86,000 in restitution after she pleaded guilty to defrauding an insurance company by falsifying records for dozens of fake clients, then collecting commission, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Troy Downing announced Wednesday.

Jessica Siegel must also complete 200 hours of community service and received a six-year deferred sentence earlier this month from Yellowstone County District Court Judge Colette Davies, according to Downing's office.

According to charging documents, Siegel was hired as an independent sales consultant by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company in 2018. While with the company, Siegel submitted 143 false applications for 58 made-up employees at four businesses in the Billings area, according to the documents filed by Downing's attorneys.

She forged the signatures of those businesses' representatives and made up information about the applicants, including spouses and dependents, Soclal Security numbers, birthday, medical histories and even height and weight, according to Downing's attorneys.

Based on those false applications, Colonial Penn paid Siegel $115,009.12 in commissions, the charging documents stated.

No premiums were paid for the accounts. Colonial Penn discovered the fraud when its representatives began calling the businesses to determine whether the employees it was covering actually worked there, according to Downing's attorneys.

Colonial Penn contacted Siegel about the discrepancies in July 2020. Her attorney responded to the company the next month and said he would look into it but offered no other response.

In August 2020, Siegel attempted to resign from Colonial Penn, but the company instead terminated her contract, according to Downing's office.

"Ms. Siegel was a trusted insurance professional in the Billings community. By breaching this trust, she harmed her customers and the company she worked for," Downing said in a statement. "Our agency will continue to prosecute criminals to protect Montanans and keep rates down."

Montanans can report insurance fraud by calling 406-444-2040 or by going to CSIMT.gov.