Poolman: Insurance Fraudster Pleads Guilty - Forfeits $10 million
Posted on 8/15/2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Poolman
August 15, 2006
Bismarck, ND - Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman today announced that William A. Ledee III, pleaded guilty on Saturday to fraud and money laundering charges in United States District Court in Atlanta, Georgia.
"North Dakota was one of the first states to issue a cease and desist and we have been actively participating in the investigation and had a staff person subpoenaed to testify," Poolman said.
The charges relate to a scheme to defraud doctors and other health care providers located throughout the United States, by selling medical malpractice insurance policies issued by a fictitious insurance company that falsely pretended to be from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Ledee also pleaded guilty to engaging in the business of insurance, in violation of federal law, after he had been convicted of a felony offense involving dishonesty previous to this case.
Ledee and his companies were unlawfully providing malpractice insurance to the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. Poolman's office issued a cease and desist order in August 2004 barring Ledee and various associated companies, specifically "Professional Liability Insurance Company," from selling insurance in the state. "Professional Liability Insurance Company" was not licensed to sell insurance in North Dakota, nor was Ledee a licensed insurance agent.
"This is a national, $24 million dollar fraud case that has victimized more than a thousand people who were seeking legitimate insurance coverage. Many of the victims are doctors and health care facilities that needed that coverage to adequately provide care for their patients. It's gratifying when our hard work results in an outcome like this," Poolman added.
Ledee's plea agreement provides a maximum sentence of 7 years, 6 months in federal prison. As a part of the plea agreement, Ledee forfeited to the United States more than $10 million in cash and real estate, acquired as a result of the fraudulent insurance company scheme from 2000 until 2004.