On October 17, 2017, a Division of Insurance (“Division”) hearing officer entered an order under General Laws Chapter 175, § 166B against Carmen Chase Hunter, presently residing in West Springfield, Massachusetts to dispose of any interests in Massachusetts as a proprietor, partner, stockholder, officer, or employee of any licensed insurance producer and fined Ms. Hunter a total of $2,000, under Massachusetts General Laws chapter (“M.G.L. c.”) 176D § 7 and c. 175, §162V(a).
Division seeks revocation for failure to report multiple license revocations
On October 7, 2015, the Division filed an Order to Show Cause against Ms. Hunter, who had first been licensed as a non-resident insurance producer on June 26, 2003. The Division alleges that Hunter, in her answer to background question 2 on her October 24, 2014 renewal application for her Massachusetts non-resident producer license, failed to report within the thirty-day time frame prescribed by M.G.L. c. 175, §162V(a) administrative actions revoking her non-resident producer licenses including:
- Texas on May 8, 2013;
- Florida on August 6, 2013;
- California on August 14, 2013;
- Indiana on October 7, 2013;
- Wyoming on August 8, 2014;
- Ohio on September 24, 2014.
- Illinois on February 25, 2015;
- Virginia on April 9, 2015; and
- Kentucky on May 13, 2015.
In addition, the Division alleges that, on or about March 14, 2014, West Virginia initiated an administrative action against Hunter seeking to revoke her license in that state.
Challenge to jurisdiction filed but Ms. Hunter fails to appear
On November 25, 2015, Hunter requested a 60-day extension of time to respond to the Amended Notice of Action to enable her to obtain legal counsel. Ms. Hunter made several additional requests for extensions to obtain legal counsel. The hearing officer finally issued an order for Ms. Hunter to file an answer no later than February 29, 2016, to the Order to Show Cause.
On March 1, 2016, the Division received a document from Ms. Hunter dated February 29, 2016 entitled a “Challenge to Jurisdiction.” On March 4, the Division filed a motion for summary decision that the hearing officer allowed Ms. Hunter until April 1, 2016, to respond to in writing. The hearing officer scheduled a hearing on the motion for summary decision for April 12.
On April 7, 2016, Ms. Hunter filed a supplement to her February 29, 2016 “challenge of jurisdiction.” However, neither Ms. Hunter nor any personal representative appeared at the April 12th hearing.
Ms. Hunter claims criminal conspiracy to revoke her producer licenses
In her decision on the Division’s motion for summary disposition, the hearing officer first addressed Ms. Hunter’s claim the Division lacked jurisdiction.
Per the hearing officer, Ms. Hunter contended the revocations of her insurance licenses by other jurisdictions resulted from flawed proceedings and implied the orders issued by those jurisdictions were invalid as support for the claims by the Division in its Order to Show Cause.
In particular, according the hearing officer, Ms. Hunter’s position was that the Division’s Order to Show Cause was not an independent state action but a continuation of a series of administrative actions taken by state insurance regulators as part of a criminal conspiracy with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) to harm her by revoking her producer licenses.
Dog liability insurance, $9.5 million judgment, Florida revocation, and conspiracy allegations
Ms. Hunter has pressed her claim of a criminal conspiracy to revoke her producer licenses by filing in excess of 25 different lawsuits without a lawyer against officials and entities in state and federal courts including suits against former Massachusetts commissioner, Daniel Judson, the NAIC, and former President Obama. She has filed appeals to appellate courts and certiorari petitions to the United States Supreme Court, all without avail. Her experiences have led her to write three books found on Amazon about representing yourself without a lawyer in federal courts.
Her conspiracy claim focuses on a 2011 judgment referenced in the hearing officer’s decision entered in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial Circuit for Orange County, Florida, entitled Kalmanson Agency, Inc. v. Chase Carmen Hunter. As, the hearing officer notes, that court enjoined Ms. Hunter “from using the plaintiffs’ name to solicit business or divert customers, and from engaging in any other unfair or deceptive trade practices.” However, the hearing officer did not mention that a default judgment also entered against Ms. Hunter for $9.5 million in damages in that case.
Apparently, Ms. Hunter’s agency operated over the Internet in this time period and offered dog liability insurance to persons who had a legal obligation to insure their dogs. The Kalmanson Agency sued alleging Ms. Hunter’s agency had improperly used the agency’s business name and obtained the injunction and default judgment. In 2012, the Florida Department of Financial Services issued an emergency order suspending Ms. Hunter’s license. In 2013, the same department revoked her license alleging Ms. Hunter had been “writing animal liability policies by using American Bankers Insurance Company (ABIC) applications without the company’s knowledge or consent.”
As other states took action Ms. Hunter began filing her 27 plus legal actions alleging as in the Massachusetts suit against Commissioner Judson that, “The fraudulent judgment from Florida was criminally obtained by an insurance agent in Florida. And the various criminal conspirators, including the various state insurance regulators, have abused their authority against Hunter to support this fraudulent judgment and the criminal acts of the plaintiffs shown in the record of this fraudulent Florida judgment because they want to monopolize the insurance industry for people who own dogs and who want to purchase liability insurance….”
Hearing officer finds against Division on some alleged violations
The hearing officer addressed all of the Divisions allegations seriatim.
On the first allegation that Ms. Hunter violated M.G.L. c. 175, §162O (b) because she did not complete an application within 90 days of establishing legal residence in Massachusetts, the hearing officer found for Ms. Hunter.
The hearing officer found that statute only required a new license application if an insurance producer, licensed in another jurisdiction but not in Massachusetts, becomes a Massachusetts resident and seeks to engage in the business of insurance in the commonwealth. Ms. Hunter, when she notified the Division that she had changed her residential address from Virginia to Massachusetts, already held a Massachusetts producer license and the applicable, the hearing officer concluded, did not require her to file a new application.
On the next violation, the Division alleged that Ms. Hunter had failed to disclose on her October 24, 2104 renewal application she had been named or involved in six state administrative proceedings to revoke her insurance producer license. Four revocations occurred in 2013 (Texas, Florida, California and Indiana) and two (Wyoming and Ohio) in 2014, before the date of Ms. Hunter’s renewal application.
On October 29, 2012, November 8, 2012, December 9, 2012, March 31, 2013, May 8, 2013, August 22, 2013, September 9, 2013, October 23, November 16, 2013, and July 16, 2014, Hunter sent out memorandums addressed to “Insurance Regulators” contesting state proceedings against her licenses. The notices sent from August 22, 2013 through November 16, 2013, stated they were also sent to the National Insurance Producer Registry which maintains an electronic database of information on insurance producers, including information on regulatory actions.
The hearing officer noted the question Ms. Hunter had allegedly failed to correctly answer only required the disclosure of administrative actions “that had not been previously reported to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.” She found that “on this record” the Division had not adequately proven that Ms. Hunter had provided incomplete or misleading information regarding license proceedings in five of the six jurisdictions alleged by the Division.
The hearing officer found that Ms. Hunter’s memorandums sent to “Insurance Regulators” prior to her application had identified the proceedings in Texas, Florida, California, Indiana and Wyoming. The Division in the hearing officer’s opinion “would be a putative recipient of memorandums sent to that group.” The hearing officer found for that reason, it could not be conclusively determined whether Hunter provided incomplete information on her license renewal application with respect to administrative actions in Texas, Florida, California, Indiana and Wyoming.
However, the hearing officer did find that Ms. Hunter had not disclosed the Ohio proceedings in her memorandums to the insurance regulators or in her renewal application and stated:
Because that [the Ohio administrative action] occurred before Hunter renewed her producer license, she should have answered “Yes” to Question 2. For that reason, I find that Hunter is subject to disciplinary action pursuant to §162R (a)(1) for providing incomplete information on her renewal application.
Finally, the hearing officer found the evidence the Division produced relating to Ms. Hunter losing her producer licenses in Texas and Florida supported disciplinary action under M.G.L. c. 175, §162R(a)(8), (“using fraudulent, coercive or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness or financial irresponsibility in the conduct of business in the commonwealth or elsewhere”). The hearing officer found:
The Texas decision based its revocation on Hunter’s failure to return unearned premium, first to a consumer and then to the issuing insurer who subsequently reimbursed the consumer directly, and a continuous failure to comply with Texas advertising rules and regulations. Such activities may reasonably be considered dishonest and a demonstration of untrustworthiness in the conduct of business.
The Florida decision specifically concluded that Hunter “exhibited fraudulent and dishonest practices related to her Florida non-resident license and exhibited a lack of fitness and trustworthiness to engage in the business of insurance.”
Hearing officer finds Ms. Hunter’s objections claiming criminal conspiracy lacked documentation
The hearing officer reviewed in her decision the responses that Ms. Hunter had filed on February 29, 2016 and April 7, 2016 to the Order to Show Cause and to the motion for summary decision,
In her objections, Ms. Hunter asserted that litigation in Florida naming her as a defendant started a criminal conspiracy against her by the NAIC. Per the hearing officer, Ms. Hunter alleged that various states have created void and fraudulent documents against her, and that they refuse to acknowledge that those documents are void and fraudulent. Also, the hearing officer noted that Ms. Hunter contended that there were irregularities in the Texas, Florida, California, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Wyoming and Virginia administrative proceedings that resulted in license revocations. Also, in her objections, Ms. Hunter asserted, in particular, that the Texas and California revocations were rescinded before they became final.
The hearing officer, however, rejected Ms. Hunter’s objections made in the form a narrative because they were unsupported by any documentary evidence supporting her assertions. The hearing officer pointed out that Ms. Hunter referred to her post-hearing challenges to the state administrative actions, but attached no evidence that any of the revocation orders that the Division relied on as evidence were stayed, reversed, vacated or amended in any way. In short, the hearing officer found Ms. Hunter submitted no documents that raised a question about the authenticity of the exhibits attached to the Order to Show Cause or to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence to support the Division’s claims that her producer license had been revoked in the states identified by the Division.
Licenses revoked and $2000 fine assessed
The hearing officer concluded by finding that Ms. Hunter should be fined $1,000 for her failure to report the revocation of her Ohio producer license on her 2014 Massachusetts license renewal and fined $500 for each of two violations in failing to report within 30 days of their final disposition the administrative actions against her in Ohio and Illinois to the Division as required by M.G.L. c 175, §162V(a).
The final orders entered by the hearing officer were:
- That any and all insurance producer licenses issued to Chase Carmen Hunter by the Division are hereby revoked;
- that Chase Carmen Hunter shall return to the Division any licenses in her possession, custody or control;
- that Chase Carmen Hunter shall cease and desist from the conduct alleged in the Order to Show Cause;
- that Chase Carmen Hunter is, from the date of this order, prohibited from directly or indirectly transacting any insurance business in or acquiring, in any capacity whatsoever, any insurance business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts;
- that Chase Carmen Hunter shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 175, §166B and dispose of any and all interests in Massachusetts as proprietor, partner, stockholder, officer or employee of any licensed insurance producer;
- that Chase Carmen Hunter shall pay a fine of Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000) to the Division within 30 days of the entry of this order.