A Billings insurance agent admits money laundering

On September 20, 2006, a Billings insurance agent, Michael Don Hutton, 59, admitted defrauding companies and laundering money.

Being the principal of M.D. Hutton Insurance, from May 1999 till May 2004 Hutton issued 38 performance and payment bonds on behalf of St. Paul Fire and Marine Co. and St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. to S.E. Inc. in Deaver, Wyoming. USD 160 152 was paid for the bonds by S.E. Inc. The St. Paul insurance companies were not notified about the issuance of the bonds, so, Hutton kept the insurance premiums collected from SEI.

Michael Don Hutton admitted issuing the unreported bonds and retaining the premiums and claimed doing this because of being broke and having business losses .

As to the mail fraud scheme, carried from September 2002 to May 2004, the agent submitted 28 premium financing agreements to Provident Financial Inc. on behalf of 12 customers in order to get loans, possibly, to pay the customers’ insurance premiums. However, he did not have the customers’ consent to get premium loans on their behalf. Hutton forged the names of customers on the premium finance agreements and sent them to Provident to get loan proceeds. Hutton kept the loan proceeds from the Provident and premiums. Also, he kept the premium paid to him by the customer. Then he used some of these loan proceeds and premiums to make payments on the loans to Provident.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI Agents, the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS as well as the Montana State Auditor’s Office. The sentencing has been set for December 20.

A Billings insurance agent, Michael Don Hutton faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a USD 500 000 fine. Currently, Hutton is released.

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