Colorado moved against one of the defendant's in the Chubb surety bond fraud, revoking the insurance license of Steve Stokeling, a director of First Fidelity Asurety Co.
The state's Division of Insurance says its investigation of Stokeling's activities is continuing.
The order, technically known as an order of summary suspension and issued April 17th, cites fraudulent bonds allegedly provided by Stokeling for a courthouse renovation project in Montrose County, Colo., to TerraVision Consulting in 2012.
The order also cites bonds issued for projects in Colorado that were not mentioned in the federal complaint by Chubb and did not involve use of forged or altered Chubb bond documents.
On these projects, Stokeling under different corporate names allegedly issued bonds backed by "irrevocable" pledges of real estate assets for projects in Colorado. The two projects, in Weld and Logan counties in 2011 and 2012, involved $37,676 in premium on a total value for the projects of about $750,000.
The state order claims that the irrevocable real estate receipt used to back the Weld County project bonds was provided without authorization, and that Stokeling claimed to be vice president of The JR Group, which is not in the insurance business. For both the Weld and Logan county bonds, the order states, Stokeling was not yet licensed to practice insurance in Colorado.
Attorneys for Chubb in October obtained a summary judgment from a federal judge in Pensacola, Fla., against Stokeling and Eric Campbell, whom Chubb sued for fraud and racketeering in July. Stokeling holds a Florida insurance license and is based in Warner Robins, Ga. Eric Campbell is believed to be a resident of Louisiana.
Stokeling and Campbell have not yet responded to Chubb's allegations. In the surety's lawsuit in federal district court in Pensacola, a magistrate judge issued a recommendation to the court on April 8 to grant the plaintiff’s motion for default judgment. If the motion is granted, Stokeling and Campbell would be prohibited from claiming any commercial relationship with the plaintiffs and would be ordered to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees.
Stokeling has not yet been found guilty of any wrongdoing and Colorado's probe remains open, says Steve Giampaolo, director of compliance in the state's Division of Insurance.
“As the investigation was being done, the division reached a conclusion that this [revoking of Stokeling's license] was the action to take,” says Giampaolo.
The Chubb units' lawsuit against Stokeling may have cost Stokeling his insurance license in Georgia.
According to a spokesman for the Georgia Office of Insurance, Stokeling in February voluntarily surrendered his state insurance license and that of his agency, Bond Speed LLC. Allen says that no investigation into Stokeling’s activities is underway, but he is not eligible to reapply for the licenses he surrendered for the next five years.