Smithton woman faces insurance fraud charges

News-DemocratJune 9, 2014 

BND

A 42-year-old woman faces 14 charges related to insurance fraud after Smithton police said she pocketed money meant to buy insurance for at least six people.

Tina Ledbetter, of the 4400 block of Wildhorse Road in Smithton, apparently said she would buy insurance through her company, T & J Insurance Agency in Smithton, but never did so, according to the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office.

Police believe this occurred from 2012 to the end of 2013, when Ledbetter's insurance agent license was revoked.

Ledbetter was charged Monday with various felony and misdemeanor charges: six counts of unlawful violation of financial responsibilities, six counts of theft by deception and two counts of unlawful solicitation of insurance without a license.

Her bond was set at $50,000. Ledbetter posted bail and was released at 4:57 p.m. Monday from the St. Clair County Jail.

Anyone who believes they were victimized by Ledbetter or her agency is asked to call the Smithton Police Department at 233-0550.

In January, the Illinois Department of Insurance learned that Ledbetter and her agency continued to act as an insurance producer even though her license was revoked last Nov. 10.

The Department of Insurance said in a news release at the time that anyone doing business with Ledbetter "should immediately seek assistance about their life, health, fire or casualty insurance coverage."

The order of revocation of her license included a $10,000 civil penalty.

T & J Insurance Agency had been licensed since 2004.

Contact reporter Jacqueline Lee at jlee@bnd.com or 618-239-2655. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BNDJLee.

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