Texas Insurer in New York Boat Accident Pleads Guilty to Fraud

October 7, 2011

A Houston man has pleaded guilty to a charge related to selling fraudulent insurance policies, including one to a company that owned a tour boat which capsized in a New York lake in 2005, killing 20 tourists.

Federal officials say Christopher Purser pleaded guilty in Houston federal court on Oct. 5 to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Authorities say Purser sold fraudulent policies from 2004 to 2006 in Texas and across the U.S.

One of the policies he sold was to Shoreline Cruises Inc., which operated the Ethan Allen, a boat that tipped over on Lake George in northern New York in October 2005. Officials say none of the claims made against the policy could be paid.

Purser faces up to 20 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 19.

Texas regulators say associates of the companies that sold Quirk the policy are suspected of peddling millions of dollars in nonexistent insurance, the Detroit Free Press has reported.

The Texas Department of Insurance in 2003 shut down what it said was an unauthorized insurance scheme that may have cost apartment owners and condominium associations millions of dollars in premiums for bogus property and liability coverage. Christopher Purser was named as a respondent in TDI’s order, which was issued by then-Commissioner Jose Montemayor.

In addition to Purser, other respondents named in the 2003 order were: International Property Owners Association Ltd. (IPOA), Mandaluyong, Philippines; UAC Ltd., Managua, Nicaragua; and Dennis Ray Hamann, Katy.

Topics Carriers Texas Fraud New York

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