Louisiana Agent Booked for Theft, Misappropriation

January 24, 2003

A Slidell, La. insurance agent was charged on numerous counts of theft and misappropriation, the latest in a series of insurance fraud arrests around the state, according to acting Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Robert Wooley.

Nathaniel Durant, was arrested at his residence in Slidell by the State Police Fraud Unit and booked into the Parish Prison on 6 counts of felony theft, 6 counts of misappropriation of insurance premiums, and 1 count of writing NSF checks.

As a part of the predawn operation, Department of Insurance fraud investigators issued a summary suspension of Durant’s insurance license along with an order that he cease and desist conducting any insurance business operations.

Department of Insurance records indicate that Durant is president and 50 percent owner of the Durant Insurance Agency Inc. His business address is 319 Westminister Drive, the same as his residence, and his mailing address is P.O. Box 1991, Slidell 70459. He has been licensed to sell life/health and property/casualty insurance since 1987. From 1987 to 1999, he also held an auto club license.

The arrest was just the latest in an extended series of investigations carried out across the state by the Department of Insurance and the State Police Insurance Fraud Unit. Previous to today’s action, the most recent arrest and cease and desist order was carried out on December 16 against former insurance and bail bond agent Anndrea LaSalle Irons, 2620 Banks Street, New Orleans.

“We are continuing this statewide crackdown because insurance fraud is so costly to Louisiana citizens,” said Wooley. He said some estimates put claims fraud alone in Louisiana at $2.3 billion a year, costing each Louisiana family an estimated $1,600 a year in higher insurance premiums.

“Insurance fraud is a major problem in Louisiana, and the joint fraud task force is proof that we are ever diligent in our efforts to bring law breakers to justice and protect the rights of our state’s consumers,” Wooley added.

People who have bought insurance from Durant should contact the insurance company listed on their insurance papers as soon as possible to verify their coverage. For locating the company or for unanswered questions, call the Department of Insurance at (800) 259-5300 or (225) 342-5900.

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