A former Tulsa insurance agent was charged Thursday with embezzling more than $64,000. The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office. The Oklahoma Department of Securities also assisted with the case.
“I have zero tolerance for agents who break the law,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Insurance-related crimes often lead to higher premiums for everyone.
“I commend the excellent work done by our Anti-Fraud Unit and the Attorney General’s Office on this case. These charges send a message that crimes like this will be discovered and the perpetrators will be prosecuted,” Doak said.
Michael W. Hefner, 47, is accused of transferring money from a company bank account to a second bank account only he controlled. The company bank account was only supposed to be used to deposit premium payments Hefner collected before the funds were remitted to the insurer. Investigators found more than a dozen illegal transactions between January 2012 and May 2015. Hefner spent the money at casinos, grocery stores and gas stations. He also used it to pay bills for personal loans, utilities, child care, a storage unit and auto insurance.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office will serve as lead prosecutors in this case. Hefner has been charged with 15 counts of embezzlement. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.