The Leavitt Group acknowledged today that the managing co-owner in its Albuquerque office was dismissed on September 23rd for misrepresentations made in proposals to 20 current or former clients over a six-year period.
Leavitt Group of Albuquerque focuses on selling insurance to New Mexico based Native American tribes, pueblos and related enterprises. The 20 clients or former clients affected are associated with seven tribes or pueblos.
According to Leavitt Group counsel, Mike Chidester, the misrepresentations were made in annual insurance renewal proposals in which a recommended legitimate insurance quote was contrasted with one or more falsified comparison quotes. The falsified comparison quotes were higher in cost than the legitimate recommended quotes. The falsified comparison quotes either were never issued by cited insurers, or were inflated by the dismissed individual so as to appear noncompetitive. Chidester indicates that the misrepresentations harmed clients by creating a false appearance of competition and service, and by unfairly guiding client choice.
These problems were brought to light on September 15th by a former Leavitt Group of Albuquerque client advising the Leavitt Groups parent company, Leavitt Group Enterprises, of irregularities in a past renewal quote presented by the managing co-owner.
An internal investigation was conducted by Leavitt Group Enterprises between September 15th and 26th. The audit confirmed that misrepresentations in quoting had occurred with respect to the reporting former client, and also with respect to additional past and present clients.
The Leavitt Group reported the misrepresentations to the New Mexico Insurance Department on September 26th, and has promised to deliver a full report to the department by October 11th.
On September 27th through 29th, Dane Leavitt, the Leavitt Groups CEO, joined by others from the organization, met separately with each of the clients and former clients harmed, informed them of the misrepresentations, provided copies of audit findings, and discussed related matters. Leavitt indicates, We have sought to swiftly determine what happened, tell clients and regulators what happened, apologize, set things right, and put and retain in place people who will serve clients fairly in the future. It will take some time to resolve these breaches of trust but we will. We regret what happened. This circumstance is not a fair reflection of the more than 1,000 Leavitt Group associates who fairly and professionally honor the trust extended by our clients, including the wonderful remaining employees in the Albuquerque office.
The Leavitt Group, headquartered in Cedar City, Utah, is the 20th largest agent/broker organization in the United States, with 90 locations in 13 states. Each location is typically owned 60% by Leavitt Group Enterprises and 40% by the local agency manager.