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Okla. Man Defrauded Insurance Agents, Authorities Allege

By David Harper, Tulsa World, Okla.

Jan. 16-- A Bixby man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a 26-count federal indictment that accuses him of taking the commissions earned by insurance agents who worked for his company.

Christopher M. Bland, 36, was arraigned later in the day in federal court in Tulsa on 14 counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of making false statements to a financial institution.

Bland owned and managed Business Consultants of South Tulsa, through which he operated an insurance agency with locations in Tulsa and Tahlequah, according to the indictment.

The charges say Bland also was a district general agent for Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co. Six insurance agents who worked in his offices had contracts with Colonial and were to receive commissions from Colonial and not through a district general agent such as Bland, the grand jury said.

Bland gained control of agents' commissions by fraudulently inducing the agents to accept salaries from Business Consultants of South Tulsa instead of receiving commissions, the indictment alleges.

Bland also is alleged to have opened accounts at First Oklahoma Bank in the names of the agents without their knowledge and then caused the bank to transfer commission payments from those accounts to a Business Consultants of South Tulsa account.

Bland is charged with causing 14 fraudulent wire transfers from Oct. 27, 2010, through Dec. 1, 2010, totaling more than $13,000, and with presenting 12 account agreements and automatic transfer agreements with agents' forged signatures to the bank in October 2010.

He is free on bond.

David Harper 918-581-8359

david.harper@tulsaworld.com

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(c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)

Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at www.tulsaworld.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Wordcount: 275



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