Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

November 15, 2012

Bogus insurance policies land man in jail

Ronald Pierce faces two felony charges.

By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer

— An insurance salesman faces two felony counts of counterfeiting after police say he created two false life insurance policies.

In the amount of $100,000 and $75,000, the policies were made out in the name of two people without their consent, said Mike Tarrh, an investigator for the Indiana State Police, Peru Post.

Howard County sheriff deputies arrested Ronald Pierce, 38, Bringhurst, who works for Farmer’s Insurance in Kokomo, Tuesday on a warrant for the Class D felony charges. He was released from jail the same day after posting $1,000, 10 percent of the $10,000 bail. Pierce was ordered to appear in Howard Superior Court 2 Tuesday for his initial hearing.

After his release from jail, Pierce was back at work at his office at 3702 S. Reed Road. Pierce returned a call from the Tribune, but hung up after being ask for a comment on his arrest.

The unusual case got the attention of state police after a woman concerned for her safety told police she had discovered there had been a life insurance policy amounting to $100,000 taken out in her name without her knowledge.

After getting information from Farmer’s Insurance and the Indiana Department of Insurance, Tarrh said he discovered another policy for $75,000 in the name of a former Farmer’s Insurance customer who had no knowledge of the policy.

There were no claims made on the policies. Tarrh concluded Pierce’s motive had more to do with meeting his quota on policies as an agent and not to actually collect the life insurance money after a death.

A warrant for Pierce’s arrest was filed Nov. 2.

Tarrh said most of the time a person charged with counterfeiting is passing fake bills, not insurance policies.

“This was absolutely a very different type of investigation,” the detective said. “This is completely brand new. I’ve never run into this issue before.”

During the investigation, police discovered other forged documents involving auto

insurance policies, but no charges have been filed relating to those, Tarrh said.

If convicted on the charges, Pierce could face up to three years in prison on each charge.