On April 12, 2019, Division of Insurance hearing officer, Kristina A. Gasson, entered orders revoking the nonresident producer licenses Crystal L. Booker of Phoenix, Arizona, Logan Belmore of Melbourne, Florida, and Jamaal M. Richard of Atlanta, Georgia (“Respondents”). The Division of Insurance initiated the revocation proceedings against these Respondents based on their failures to report administrative actions against them in other states as required by Massachusetts law.
In each of these cases, the hearing officer also entered orders on each Order to Show Cause:
- revoking any licenses, including their nonresident producer licenses issued to the Respondents;
- Ordering the return to the Division any license in their possession, custody or control;
- Prohibiting the Respondents from directly or indirectly transacting any insurance business or acquiring, in any capacity whatsoever, any insurance business in Massachusetts; and
- Ordering the Respondents to comply with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 175, §166B and dispose of any and all interests in Massachusetts as proprietor, partner, stockholder, officer or employee of any licensed insurance producer.
The hearing officer also fined each of the Respondents varying amounts. The hearing officer fined Mr. Belmore $2,500, Ms. Booker $1,500, and Mr. Richard $1,000. Under the orders entered by the hearing officer, the Respondents had thirty (30) days to pay the fines.
All of the Respondents defaulted on the Order to Show Cause filed by the Division against them. The allegations in the Division’s Order to Show Cause that the hearing officer accepted regarding each of the Respondents were the following:
Logan Belmore—Nolo contendere plea on attempted burglary starts revocations
Massachusetts licensed Mr. Belmore as a nonresident insurance producer on September 15, 2016. The Division’s August 23, 2018 Order to Show Cause alleged Mr. Belmore failed to advise the Division that on May 8, 2017, the Florida Department of Financial Services had revoked his resident producer license. The Florida Department revoked his producer license based on Mr. Belmore having pleaded nolo contendere to a felony: Attempted Burglary of a Structure in the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in Brevard County, Florida on January 3, 2017.
For legal purposes, a defendant’s plea of nolo contendere to a criminal charge, when accepted by the court, is a guilty plea. The only distinction is that a nolo contendere plea is not admissible in a civil action as evidence of liability.
In addition to failing to report the Florida license action, The Division also alleged Mr. Belmore failed to report the follow-on actions of other states against his nonresident producer licenses. The actions by other states based on the Florida revocation included:
- On August 10, 2017, the State of South Carolina Department of Insurance revoked Mr. Belmore’s nonresident producer license.
- On November 1, 2017, the State of Oregon Division of Financial Regulation revoked Mr. Belmore’s nonresident insurance producer license.
- On November 21, 2017, the State of Idaho Department of Insurance revoked Mr. Belmore’s nonresident insurance producer license.
- On January 10, 2018, the State of Nevada Division of Insurance revoked Mr. Belmore’s nonresident insurance producer license.
- Belmore did not report the administrative actions against his insurance licenses in Florida, South Carolina, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada to the Division.
After Mr. Belmore failed to answer or appear on the Division’s Order to Show Cause, the hearing officer granted a summary decision at the Division’s request based on Mr. Belmore’s default. Based on the default, she then entered the orders listed above and imposed a $2,500 fine.
Jamaal M. Richard—Taking Fifth Amendment on policy irregularities and unearned commissions
Mr. Richard obtained a nonresident producer’s license in Massachusetts on July 13, 2016.
Mr. Richard worked as a regional manager for AFLAC in Louisiana. After a complaint to the Department of Insurance, the Department alleged that from November 2014 to November 2015, Mr. Richard had written twenty-eight (28) AFLAC policies for seven (7) individuals under two (2) groups, Law Man Trucking, and Life Christian Academy. The Law Man Trucking policies were for persons who were not employees of the company. Life Christian Academy only authorized direct policy purchases by its employees and not the creation of a group.
In its investigation, AFLAC could not find that six of the putative insureds on the policies were real persons. There were no premiums collected for any of these policies, but Mr. Richard collected $1,974.28 in unearned advance commissions from AFLAC.
In communications from the Louisiana Department of Insurance to Mr. Jamaal regarding the allegations in April and June of 2017, the attorney for Mr. Richard advised the Department that his client, Mr. Richard, was claiming his “Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.”
On September 27, 2017, the Louisiana Department entered an order revoking his nonresident producer license and fining him $1,500.00.
The Division’s October 17, 2018 Order to Show Cause against Mr. Richard alleged that he failed to report the Louisiana action and had failed to report the revocation of his nonresident producer license by the California Division of Insurance on June 14, 2018,
The Division alleged that Mr. Richard, by failing to timely report these administrative actions violated M.G.L. c. 175, §162V(a), which required him to report to the commissioner any administrative actions taken against his license in other jurisdictions within thirty days.
Based on Mr. Richard’s failure to contest the Division’s Order to Show Cause, the hearing officer defaulted him and granted the Division a summary decision; entering the orders listed above and imposing a $1,000 fine.
Crystal L. Booker—Failure to resubmit illegible fingerprint card leads to revocations
Massachusetts licensed Ms. Booker as a nonresident insurance producer on September 11, 2016.
In her home state of Arizona, Ms. Booker was first licensed as an accident/health resident insurance producer on August 22, 2016, by the Arizona Division of Insurance. Under Arizona law, insurance producers have to submit a fingerprint card as part of the application process.
On November 2, 2016, the Division notified Ms. Booker that her fingerprint card had been processed and returned by the Arizona Department of Public Safety as illegible. The Division requested that Ms. Booker submit a replacement set of fingerprints along with a completed “Illegible Fingerprint Replacement Form” on or before November 22, 2016.
After Ms. Booker did not respond to two notices, the Division advised her they would initiate an administrative action against her license for her failure to comply with the fingerprint requirement if she did not respond by December 27, 2016.
When Ms. Booker did not reply to the Division’s last notice, the Division sent her a notice of hearing. When she did not answer, the hearing officer revoked her Arizona producers license.
In its February 22, 2018 Order to Show Cause, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance alleged that Ms. Booker had failed to notify the commissioner of insurance of the actions against her license in Arizona. The Order to Show Cause also alleged violations for Ms. Booker not reporting the follow-on revocations including:
- On March 28, 2017, the Idaho Department of Insurance revoked Booker’s Idaho nonresident insurance producer license.
- On June 5, 2017, the State of South Carolina Department revoked Booker’s South Carolina nonresident insurance producer license.
Consistent with the prior two revocations, when Ms. Booker failed to respond or appear to contest the Division’s Order to Show Cause, the hearing officer defaulted her and granted the Division a summary decision while imposing the above orders and a $1500 fine.