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Former owner of Montevideo insurance company charged with fraud

MONTEVIDEO — The former owner of the Montevideo Insurance Center is facing four felony charges of insurance fraud for allegedly accepting insurance premiums from clients but not applying those payments to the policies.

Jeremy Lee Olson, 45, of Boyd, is also charged with one count of aggravated forgery and one count of issuance of a dishonored check, which are both felonies.

The charges were filed April 27 in Chippewa County District Court. Olson is expected to make his first court appearance May 15.

According to the criminal complaint, the Montevideo Police Department was contacted last fall by the new owners of the Montevideo Insurance Center who had found discrepancies in billing and insurance policies handled by Olson.

Several clients had also asked the new owners why their insurance policies had been cancelled when they had paid for coverage.

The Police Department worked with an investigator from the enforcement division of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and allegedly found evidence of at least $9,234 in missing premiums that were given to Olson but not applied to the insurance policies.

There were 12 customers, including businesses, that had policies cancelled because Olson applied their premium payments too late or not at all.

In one instance, a client had a house fire but was unable to collect full payment for damaged vehicles because the vehicle insurance policy had been cancelled, which resulted in a $5,864 loss to the client.

One business had paid $240 for a workers compensation policy, but Olson allegedly did not remit the payment. As a result, the business did not have coverage and the business owner had to pay a higher premium to cover the lapse of insurance and if there is a backdated claim for workers compensation, the issue will have to go to court, according to the complaint.

Olson is also charged with issuing a bad check for $1,007 to a former employee and for falsifying an insurance form for a policy that did not exist.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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