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Police, TBI seize records of downtown insurance business

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dyersburg Police investigators and TBI agents confiscate computers, receipt books and filing cabinets filled with records as part of an investigation into allegations of insurance fraud at Associates Insurance and Tax Service, located at 422 N. Church St. in downtown Dyersburg.
A downtown business is shut down after investigators with the Dyersburg Police Department and the agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation confiscated records and computers from the business on Thursday morning. DPD Criminal Investigation Division Capt. Roger Dudley said Associates Insurance and Tax Service, located at 422 N. Church St., is being investigated for possible insurance fraud.

The investigation began when a customer of Associates told police that his mortgage company had contacted him about not having insurance on his house. The customer had been paying his premiums to Associates, but had not been receiving any coverage.

"I don't know how long he has been paying premiums, but nothing was sent to his mortgage company showing he was covered," said Dudley.

Investigators Jim Joyner (left) and Dan Wilson (right) load a filing cabinet full of records onto a truck. Wilson had gone by the business on numerous occasions to talk to employees, but it was always closed.
He added that several other people have already been interviewed that were customers, but officials were waiting for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance to arrive before going further in the investigation. The TBI will also be working with the DPD and the state in the investigation.

"Since it's going to be so long and drawn out, we'll do the initial part of the investigation and let the TBI and insurance commission run with it after that," said Dudley.

DPD Investigator Dan Wilson had been to the business repeatedly in an attempt to speak with the employees, but it was always closed. On Thursday morning, police were able to get a search warrant when they found an employee at the office. She was interviewed and cleared to leave the premises.

The owner of Associates, Tina Butler, was contacted by police and asked to come to the business as investigators and agents were removing records and computers, but she did not show up. Dudley said Butler acted as an underwriter for several insurance companies. He believes numerous customers of the business could be without insurance, but it was too soon in the investigation to get an accurate number.

"There is an undetermined number of customers affected," said Dudley. "There could very well be people from outside the county too."

Butler has not been charged with any wrongdoing at this time.

Investigator Jim Joyner suggested that customers of Associates that have questions about the legitimacy of their insurance should contact the actual insurance provider to check to the status of their policy.

"They need to do that before they contact us, so they can verify if they have a policy or not," said Joyner.

If customers determine they are without a policy and have been making payments to Associates, they should contact the DPD Criminal Investigation Division at 731-288-7679.

As of Thursday, no charges had been filed and police are not naming any suspects.

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yes, randaddy you're probably right. she might guilty of having a dead car battery or something! there are probably 25,000 things she could be guilty of. just like the lady in georgia the other day being accused of being unhelpful to white people because her daddy was killed by kkkers!

i really think people are not guilty until they accused of a crime and found guilty in a court of law.

with that said, i'm certainly happy the dpd is looking into some white-collar crime. i'm quite sure there is plenty of it going on.

-- Posted by closerlook on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 4:58 PM

Give her a break.More than likely it was an oversight.

-- Posted by scknthhd on Fri, Jul 23, 2010, at 6:30 PM

Of course she's guilty!!!!

-- Posted by My2Centz on Sun, Jul 25, 2010, at 7:14 PM

Some people that are automatically assumming she is guilty needs to remember what ass-u-me means. And if anyone knows for sure she is guilty then print your proof on here. Why is it when someone gets accussed of something that could destroy thier career and reputation,it makes others happy.

-- Posted by scknthhd on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 12:18 PM

true this is Randaddy. In this town some people loves to gloat on others troubles.But I gaurentee you if the shoe was on the other foot. They would not gloat and boast so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by scknthhd on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 9:18 PM

You Tell It "scknthhd" The Biggest Reason why most people live in Dyersburg is they could not survive living anywhere else. They would be tarred and feathered or worse, In REAL Cities and Towns, People won't put up with war-mongers, gossipers, and trouble-makers. It amazes me that people here will ruin someone with a LIE, when they are guilty of it themselves... WOW... There are some good people in this County, and I know all 150 of them...

-- Posted by Travis H. on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 8:08 AM


-- Posted by xdburg on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 7:56 AM

This is not Mrs. Butler's first time to get caught not paying her client's premiums.

-- Posted by holla back girl on Fri, Jul 30, 2010, at 10:55 AM

Interesting. How many insurance agencies have thousands of administrative duties? How many of them are 100% accurate? Let's say they are 99.8% accurate (that's good enough to get an A+++ in just about any school I'm familiar with). Let's say they have a process for dealing with errors and ommissions for the 0.2% of mistakes. However, if a firm has 1,000 clients, that's 20 errors and ommissions that would need to be cleared. How many tax returns in the US are perfectly filed? 80%? 90%? Could that number be even lower? Isn't the insurance industry one that is full of processes and procedures that have thousands of data entry points that is very human intensive and prone to human error? What about inherent risk? Audit risk? Combine those with the human risk of error, employee risk of error (just having a bad data entry day error) and I struggle to think you could find many firms that have a 100% error free process from day one. So, if you take the error rate above and less than 0.1% of clients have problems, would you think that's pretty darn good? I'm not suggesting I know of this company's error rate or if one even exists, but the article only specifically identified only one person. Coyld that could have been a disgruntled customer that got lost in the system. (p.s. I've never even heard of the company before) Then, the article's author has the intestinal fortitude to ask for more (victims) to come forward? What if 100% of a 0.2% error rate came forward. WOW, talk about a tar and feathering for an outstanding (in my opinion) low error rate. What if the company had some disgruntled customers? (I've never seen one that didn't, especially in the insurance business where your covering risk) Sorry, I'm just a visitor from out of town that happened to be visiting for a couple days and saw this article. From an objective view point, this seems a rather harsh/scathing article for just one identified error. I sure hope I'm never held to a 100% standard. Just my opinion, which I'm entitled to.

-- Posted by snowrunner on Tue, Aug 3, 2010, at 9:53 PM

When conducting "white collar" investigations, many investigative units will have procedures and protocols requiring an investigator to keep things quiet until they have lots and lots of evidence and/or they have at least walked the audit trail of several records and transactions? That's the first issue I see here. Yes, I understand freedom of speach, but there is also a line of respect/responsibility respected by many investigators. The social community has a right not to have to worry about getting caught up in the equivalent of a "witch hunt" or getting their reputations damaged because an investigator "rung the bell" to early. Fortunately, many social communities don't live in a "Lord of the flies" type of environment based upon fear of Mccarthyism.

The insurance indusry has built in safegaurd controls. The control procedure is that a customer will find out they don't have their insurance. Insurance companies have sophistiated computer systems and will cancel your policy if the agent doesn't pay it. Lots of customers without insurance will cry loudly and quickly. Not just one, but many. That means, if this business has been in business for any extended period of time, then transactions like this would generally not be occuring on a frequent basis and trully would be an "error or ommission". When it does occur, it is likely resolved or the business wouldn't have stayed in business. Plain and simple, the system is generally fool proof. Clerical errors happen, but they get resolved. Also, the business has employees doing the work. In order for something like this to be happening, collusion would generally have to be involved. Collusion is hard to control and it is difficult to control it for long. Hence, a busines like this has a control environment with preventative and detective controls built in to eventually catch any errors and omissions. Isn't this situation exactly what "errors and ommissions" insurance is for? I'm really struggling to understand how this sequence of events was even allowed to take place.

-- Posted by snowrunner on Sat, Aug 7, 2010, at 10:54 AM

I think tina butler is guilty of certain crimes,i know of several incedents of her doning the same thing she is doing now,and thats taking hard working peoples money fausly,and will lie to you to your face.I dont think the dyersburg police department,or the T B I,would do this on one persons word,evedently they had reason to believe something is going on ,or they would not have proceeded with the investigation.besides Im one person who knows first hand.Go to national fire and insurance in nashville tn. and check her licence status and youll see they have been REVOLKED.Maybe that will shed a diferent light on things.Shes doing people wrong,and its not the first time.

-- Posted by starchaser on Sat, Aug 14, 2010, at 11:16 PM

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