Former Arkansas insurance agent Beverly Gowan was sentenced in White County Circuit Court to 18 months detention with the Department of Community Correction for two counts of insurance fraud and one count of Theft of Property which is a class C Felony. According to Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Julie Benafield Bowman, Gowan received an additional 18 months suspended sentence and was ordered to pay $3,600 in restitution.
Gowan, age 66, is a repeat offender, the insurance department said in announcing the sentencing. He previously was convicted of insurance fraud in 1999 when he sold insurance to his sister and did not forward the premiums to the company. Her house burned and upon filing a claim, the sister discovered she was not covered. Gowan pleaded guilty in that instance and lost his license.
“I am pleased at the conviction of anyone who perpetrates such a crime against consumers; but I am especially pleased when we are able to convict someone who is bold enough to try it again,” Commissioner Bowman said in the announcement.
The most recent charges against Gowan stem from an incident occurring in October 2000. Johnny and Ruthie Foster purchased vehicle insurance from Dairyland Insurance at $208 per quarter and Beverly Gowan provided them with proof of insurance cards. Following an automobile accident in 2005, Johnny Foster filed a claim with Dairyland only to discover the company had never heard of him.
This case was prosecuted with the assistance of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Arkansas Insurance Department.