BISMARCK, N.D. – Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread today announced that Akeem Foster of Bismarck was sentenced in Burleigh County District Court after pleading guilty to one count of a class C felony theft by deception and class A misdemeanor acting as a bail bond agent without a license following an investigation conducted by the North Dakota Insurance Department. Foster admitted to acting as a bail bond agent, receiving money to bail individuals out of jail and retaining the money without bailing anyone out of jail. Foster obtained a total of $2,250 from five victims in Burleigh County.
“Every case of fraud, no matter how big or small, is a huge problem because it adds up and affects all North Dakota consumers negatively,” Godfread said. “I’m proud of the work our Department investigators and attorneys have done and am grateful for the partnerships we’ve developed over the years with State’s Attorney’s offices across the state.”
After the Department successfully prosecuted the case, through a memorandum of understanding with the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office, Foster was sentenced to three years with the North Dakota Department of Corrections with all but two years suspended for 18 months of supervised probation and $2,250 in restitution by Judge Douglas A. Bahr.
According to the FBI, insurance fraud (non-health insurance) costs consumers in the United States about $40 billion each year, equaling between $400-700 per family annually in the form of increased premiums. Examples of insurance fraud include but are not limited to:
- Deliberate attempts to stage an accident, injury, theft, arson or other type of loss that would be covered under an insurance policy (e.g., setting fire to your home)
- Exaggerating a legitimate claim (e.g., doubling the value of stolen jewelry)
- Knowingly omitting or providing false information on an insurance policy application (e.g., purchasing a policy for a previously damaged vehicle and omitting the damage in the application to file a claim later)
For more information or to report suspected fraud, please contact the Department at (701) 328-2440.