Posted: Nov 27, 2012 5:29 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 27, 2012 6:52 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas Department of Insurance is threatening to take away a local man's insurance license. They say he wasn't handling his clients money appropriately.
6 News obtained documents from the department that detail six separate cases where an insurance agent named Manuel Cuellar Jr. witheld or misused money he collected from his clients.
In total, the cases add up to nearly $13,000 in misappropriated funds.
One case goes back to 2009 and involves a client named Gloria Hawes. The documents say that "Hawes paid $1,578 to the Manuel Cuellar Agency for her T.W.I.A windstorm policy".
But, "Cuellar failed to forward the premium to the T.W.I.A and a policy was not issued for the 2009-2010 period".
That means that Hawes paid her money, but wasn't actually covered.
The documents go on to say that the same exact thing happened the next year. Hawes paid the money, but Cuellar didn't forward the premium. "Her policy was not issued for the 2010-2011 period".
In total, Cuellar "misappropriated $3,156 in premium payments" for Hawes.
Another case involves a client named Linda Baker. She paid $811 to Cuellar to renew her T.W.I.A policy, but again, Cuellar failed to forward the premium. Then, when Baker's home was damaged in 2010, she wasn't covered by the insurance. The document say, "because Baker's policy had lapsed in 2010, her claim was denied".
The Texas Department of Insurance concludes that "Manuel Cuellar and Manuel Cuellar Agency have engaged in fraudulent or dishonest acts or practices".
So we went looking for Cuellar to ask him why he witheld some of his clients money. We knocked on his door at his home, but he didn't answer.
Now, the Department of Insurance says Cuellar has just 12 days left to appeal this order, or his insurance license will be taken away. He'll also have to pay $7,000 in penalties.
The documents say that Cuellar has reimbursed three of his clients for some of the money that he didn't forward. The others have not received any compensation.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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