WRAL Investigates

Insurance investigators want to meet with Selma agent

Posted October 14, 2011 4:29 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina Department of Insurance investigators want to meet with a Selma insurance agent to discuss fraud allegations.

According to an audit by the department, Brad Cooper is the owner of Commercial and Farmers Insurance in Selma and Affordable Choice Insurance in Wendell. He and his wife, Holly Cooper, bought the agency from his in-laws, Bill and Karen Honaker. They refer customers to her parents' finance company, Premium Service Inc. of Selma, for billing.

According to the audit, Brad Cooper is accused of overcharging customers by more than $60,000, and the Honakers are accused of overcharging customers by more than $42,000.

Insurance agent Heather Richardson, who operates Clayton Insurance Agency, has also been contacted about possible violations. According to a letter sent to her attorney, Richardson has been accused of overcharging clients more than $9,000.

Investigators sent notices to the attorneys representing the Coopers and Honakers this week to inform them of the allegations. Conferences have been set up for Wednesday and Thursday for the parties to meet with investigators.

Richardson has a meeting scheduled with investigators on Thursday as well.

If matters aren't resolved at the meeting, investigators will ask the state Attorney General's Office to hold a public administrative hearing to establish whether the allegations are true.

If the violations are found to be true, a hearing officer may suspend or revoke their insurance licenses or impose a fine.