Maryland Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer, Jr. has moved to end what his agency says is a comprehensive scheme of medical malpractice fraud aimed, particularly, at women’s clinics.
Redmer issued a cease and desist order prohibiting Unimed Insurance Company; Professional Liability Insurance Company, LTD; Ledee and Associates, LLC; Professional Liability Insurance Corporation; PLIC Claims Management, Inc; Crowne Global Group, LTD, Medical Risk Associates, RPG, LTD; and Physical Malpractice Analysts, INC, and individuals associated with those companies from conducting insurance business or acting as insurance producers in Maryland.
The order is based on his findings that the companies, which are purported to be based in Bermuda, are not organized or licensed as insurance companies, have defrauded Maryland health care providers by selling unauthorized and unapproved contracts for medical malpractice coverage.
The insurers being pursued by Redmer have also run into trouble in others states. Eight other states, including Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas and Illinois, have issued cease and desist orders against them.
On July 20, the Bermuda Monetary Authority posted warnings that the companies are not licensed there as claimed.
The Maryland Insurance Administration is hoping those with information about the companies will contact its agency officials.
Redmer urged any doctor or clinic that has purchased medical malpractice coverage from the companies or individuals named to contact the MIA and to meet with a licensed insurance producer as soon as possible to secure approved coverage.
The MIA’s fraud division and agent enforcement sections, working with the state attorney general, troopers from the Department of State Police, and law enforcement officials and insurance regulators from other states, uncovered a history of fraud by these companies and their principals: William A. Ledee, HI; Ignatius Angelo DeBlasi; James Reynolds; Matthew Reed; Mishima Murasaki; Bertha Louise Ledee; Judy Frese; Jennifer Anderson (aka Brook Harris); Robert Edward Ledee; Suzanne Suhrie; Charles Daly, MD; Laurie/Lori (last name unknown) and Elizabeth (last name unknown).
MIA maintains that since at least January, 2003, these unauthorized companies have sold medical malpractice insurance to Maryland-based, women’s health clinics and their attending physicians. Further, MIA charges, since at least January, 2004, these same companies have sold medical malpractice insurance to plastic surgeons. The companies and their principals have collected substantial fees and premiums, according to state officials.
“Unfortunately, an unknown number of doctors and clinics think they have purchased approved professional liability insurance from legitimate carriers. They have no idea that they are victims of fraud,” Redmer commented.
Redmer has ordered the companies and their principals to return all fees and premium collected and to pay all legitimate claims presented. However, since the MIA cannot verify the extent to which these companies may have to actually pay claims, Redmer reiterated the need for physicians and clinics to discuss their coverage with licensed producers as quickly as possible.
In the event any individual or company finds they have been a victim of insurance fraud, in this or any instance, it is requested they also contact the Maryland Insurance Administration – Insurance Fraud Division on the toll free insurance fraud hotline, 1-800-846-4069.
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