July 19--A Dickinson insurance agent could face jail time on five felony counts of theft of property, allegedly taking a client's money to pay off his credit card and buying gold coins, officials said Wednesday.
Scott Biggs, 54, allegedly withdrew $30,000 from a client's trust account without the client's knowledge Sept. 11, 2009, according to a cease and desist order signed by State Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm on June 27.
When the client attempted to withdraw money from the account, Biggs allegedly advised him that the IRS had frozen the accounts, according to the complaint. Biggs also refused to show the client documentation of the act.
The insurance agent is accused of issuing two cashier's checks from the client's savings account Sept. 14, 2009, according to the affidavit. The first check of $23,522 was paid to a credit card in Biggs's name while the second was written for $5,805 to purchase three gold coins.
Hamm did not disclose the client's name.
Southwest District Judge Zane Anderson on Wednesday released Biggs on a personal recognizance bond. Anderson also required Biggs not to conduct insurance business pursuant to the order and get court approval before leaving the state.
This is Biggs's first offense, Assistant Attorney General and prosecutor Jon Byers said. He added the state is not sure what penalties it will seek against him.
Biggs was charged with four Class B felonies, each of which carry a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, and one Class C felony, which could give him up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The state issues cease and desist orders to protect consumers from security violations, Byers said.
Biggs and his attorney, Irvin Nodland of Bismarck, declined comment.
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