A Pennsylvania insurer has filed a federal lawsuit against the Macon insurance agents charged with selling Goodwill Industries insurance and pocketing premium payments.
Broadus W. Marshall Jr., 57, and his son, 26-year-old Matthew P. Marshall, were arrested Dec. 17 on one count of insurance fraud. Authorities allege that they sold insurance to Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, but didn’t forward the payments on to Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., the insurer.
Philadelphia Indemnity is asking the Marshalls repay the $135,904 they allegedly pocketed from Goodwill Industries, but didn’t forward on to the insurer, according to the suit filed last week.
O. Hale Almand, Broadus Marshall’s attorney, said the suit deals with the same issues raised in December following an investigation by the Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s office. Almand said the suit is a result of the same “misunderstandings and misinformation” as the criminal charge.
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“Mr. Marshall’s reputation has always been above reproach,” he said. “We look forward to defending that good reputation.”
Bob Lovett, Matthew Marshall’s attorney, didn’t return phone messages left Tuesday.
Timothy Burson, the attorney representing Philadelphia Indemnity, declined to comment Tuesday.
The suit also names Scarbrough Insurance Agency Inc. as a defendant. Both Marshalls were affiliated with Scarbrough Insurance and Marshall Insurance at the time the alleged fraud happened in 2008 and 2009, according to the court filing.
Bill Scarbrough, owner of Scarbrough Insurance, said he hasn’t been served with any court papers but has never had any connection with Broadus Marshall. No criminal charge has been filed against Scarbrough Insurance.
Scarbrough said he purchased SSK Marshall LLC in June 2005. Broadus Marshall managed the agency as an agent before the sale, but he didn’t continue on under Scarbrough’s ownership, he said. A copy of a letter provided by Scarbrough confirmed that Marshall was not affiliated with the agency under Scarbrough’s ownership.
Philadelphia Indemnity sent Goodwill a notice in December 2008 that its policies would be canceled Jan. 5, 2009, for nonpayment, according to the suit.
Burson contends in the lawsuit that the Marshalls misrepresented to Goodwill that the insurance company had agreed not to cancel their policies.
When the policies came up for renewal in August 2009, Goodwill contacted the insurer while shopping around for rates and learned that its policies had been canceled.
Subsequently, the Georgia insurance commissioner directed Philadelphia Indemnity to provide the coverage Goodwill paid the Marshalls for and to seek recovery of unpaid premiums, undelivered premium refunds and unearned commissions, according to the suit.
After the Marshalls’ arrest, the Insurance Commissioner’s Office identified four additional businesses allegedly defrauded of about $20,000.
The Insurance Commissioner’s Office urges people who have done business with Marshall Insurance Agency to contact their insurance companies directly. If the paperwork isn’t in order, Georgia residents may call (800) 656-2298.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.