|Updated: 1/16 11:48 am
||Published: 1/16 11:47 am
An investigation by the Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Anti-Fraud Unit resulted in a federal indictment against a Bixby business owner.
On Tuesday, OID investigators and FBI agents, with the assistance of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, arrested Christopher Bland, 36, at his Bixby home.
An OID investigation found that Bland, owner and general manager of Business Consultants of South Tulsa, was taking commissions earned by insurance agents working for his company. Investigators also discovered that Bland opened bank accounts in the victims’ names in order to access the money.
Bland is charged with 14 counts of wire fraud and 12 counts of lying to a financial institution. The charges are the result of a nearly year-long investigation that started with a complaint from Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Unum Group.
“This case is great example of how valuable our Anti-Fraud Unit really is,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Two other police departments received complaints on Mr. Bland, but deferred to our investigators because of the unique nature of insurance crime. Our Anti-Fraud Unit has the experience, knowledge and resources to investigate these crimes and get justice for the victims. We also want to thank the FBI and OHP for their help. Great law enforcement partnerships are key in cases like this.”
Bland made his initial appearance Tuesday in a federal courtroom in Tulsa.