Local police in Sherman, TX, are investigating an insurance agent accused of stealing the insurance premium payments of his clients.
Matt Turner, an agent with Garland Insurance Agency, allegedly kept the insurance payments of his clients for years. Police were aware of Turner for some time after his victims found out that they lacked insurance coverage despite paying their premiums.
“This was brought to light when one of the customers was involved in a crash out of state, and they were told they didn’t have insurance on their vehicle – but they knew they had paid their policy in full,” Sgt. Brett Mullen of the Sherman Police Department told KXII News 12 in an interview.
One of Turner’s other customers, Pam Barcroft, was shocked when insurance provider Kemper sent her notifications that she owed them money – despite knowing that she had her premiums. She had been a customer of Garland Insurance Agency, with Turner as her agent, since 2015.
“That day, I had received in the mail a notification of a premium due. So I took it with me, opened it, and I flipped it on [Turner’s] desk. And I said, ‘Matt, why do I keep getting these notices?’ And he said, ‘Don’t worry about it,’” Barcroft recounted.
But Barcroft grew suspicious and chose to finally contact Garland Insurance Agency directly on July 26, 2019 to notify the firm that her insurance had been terminated. She told the agency that she has always paid annually – worth more than $1,700 in cash – but the money seemed to be unaccounted for.
Barcroft later chose another agency to purchase insurance through, and found out from the other firm that Turner might have been involved with her missing payments.
“When I called and asked [the agency owner] if he’d be available to set me up with insurance that day, and he said, ‘Are you a victim of Matt Turner?’ And I said, ‘Oh my gosh, you’ve already heard about it?’,” she told KXII News 12.
The agency owner also informed Barcroft that Turner had attempted to reapply as an agent with the other firm.
Barcroft called for other victims of Turner to speak up. She has since filed a claim with the Texas Department of Insurance, KXII News 12 reported. Garland Insurance Agency has also apologized for Turner’s fraud and has refunded Barcroft her $1,700.
Sherman Police have not issued an arrest warrant for Turner yet and are still determining the amount of money involved. The authorities have also encouraged fraud victims to come forward with their stories.