BY JOHN KRAFT & KIRK ALLEN POPLAR GROVE, IL. (ECWd) – Update: Owen Costanza responded to this article: (Read it here) Mayoral Candidate’s Run-in with Insurance Licenses In Three States: Fined $31,500 When a candidate, any candidate, touts their public service and their honesty, without revealing the truth in their past dealings with state regulatory
BY JOHN KRAFT & KIRK ALLEN
POPLAR GROVE, IL. (ECWd) –
Update: Owen Costanza responded to this article: (Read it here)
Mayoral Candidate’s Run-in with Insurance Licenses In Three States: Fined $31,500
When a candidate, any candidate, touts their public service and their honesty, without revealing the truth in their past dealings with state regulatory agencies, we believe the people have a right to know.
Such is the case with Owen Costanza, current Mayor, and 2021 Mayoral Candidate, for the Village of Poplar Grove.
His campaign webpage talks about his “work ethic” and applying his business management experience to village operations.
Below, we discuss his “work ethic” and “business management experience” as observed through the eyes of Insurance regulators in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Some of this includes lying on applications for business insurance licenses by failing to disclose criminal convictions and failing to disclose termination of his company for allegations of misconduct. Paying civil penalties of $31,500.00 to various state departments of insurance, failing to tender paid premiums to insurance providers, and improper withdrawals from several accounts, among others.
We have asked Owen Costanza to provide comments on these issues, he has yet to respond.
On February 18, 2015, a “STIPULATION AND CONSENT ORDER” was signed by Costanza, Licensee and representative of RMS Service Group, Inc., d/b/a as Alliance Insurance Agency, which supersedes the Order of Revocation dated April 3, 2014. This matter was on the Revocation of licensing authority of RMS Service Group d/b/a as Alliance Insurance Agency
In this signed ORDER:
- Respondent shall pay a civil penalty of $30,000 to the Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance
- Voluntarily agree to revocation of the Business Entity license of RMS Service Group, Inc. d/b/a/ as Alliance Insurance Agency
- The Premium Fund Trust Account (“PTFA”) was deficient for 117 days and pertained to 17 consumers, ranging from $200.14 to $24,574.16 with an average of $15,240.35
- Collected insurance premiums from three customers between Aug 2, 2010 and Oct 21, 2010, and failed to forward the premiums to the insurer within the required timeframe – holding four premiums for an average of 301 days
- During March 2010, made unlawful withdrawals totaling $9,400 from the PTFA account, $10,733.97 from the Main account, and $16,385.66 from the Operating account
- On Sep 22, 2010, deposited $365.83 from a consumer for homeowner’s insurance policy, then paid the insurer $196.40, but did not repay the $169.43 to the consumer until more than a year later
- Charging service fees without a service fee agreement
- Check register did not include positive running balances after each deposit or disbursement – and had a negative balance on 32 separate dates
- Maintaining a Bond of $2500.00 when, in 2010, the minimum amount of the Bond for 2011 should have been $7342.00
- Failed to disclose the 2008 denial of a Business Entity and Licensee’s application in the State of Wisconsin for failing to disclose previous criminal convictions on an insurance license application and failing to disclose a company termination for allegations of misconduct
- Failed to disclose the 2010 State of Indiana civil penalty against the Licensee for failing to disclose previous criminal convictions, having judgment withheld or deferred, pending criminal investigation, or being named in an administrative proceeding
- Falsely answered “NO” to question #2 of the application about their involvement in an administrative proceeding, regarding whether administrative action was taken by another State on their 2010 and 2012 application for renewals for a license
- Conducting business in a name other than the name on the license issued for a Business Entity
- Check register examined by the Department did not have all check issues listed and was not accurate as the actual checks issued with the correct check number
- Other issues with listings of deposits or monies received
- No bank reconciliations between 2008 and 2011
- Bank accounts listed as Premium Trust Account and a check was written from that account on Sep 9, 2010 (we cannot locate any more information about this check to report who it was written to)
On September 21, 2010, the Indiana Commissioner of Insurance filed a “FINAL ORDER AND APPROVAL” and another filing labeled “AGREED ENTRY” in Cause Number 9384-AG10-0831-135, which is labeled as “Enforcement Action” naming Owen Costanza as the Agent/Respondent to Indiana Insurance License Number 425943.
In the signed filings for this Cause:
- Respondent shall pay a $1500 civil penalty to the Indiana Department of Insurance
- Respondent falsely indicated “NO” to the question of whether he had ever been convicted of a crime, had a judgment withheld or deferred, or was currently charged with committing a crime
- Respondent falsely indicated “NO” to the question of whether he had ever been named as a party in an administrative proceeding regarding any professional or occupational license or registration
- Respondent falsely indicated “NO” to the question of whether he had ever had an insurance agency contract or any business relationship with an insurance company terminated for any alleged misconduct
- Licensed DENIED for 31 days based on allegations of failing to disclose previous criminal convictions on an insurance license application and failing to disclose a company termination for allegations of misconduct. November 2008 (See page 41)