In May 2008 Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas sued a local insurance agent. Below is an article that appeared in the Valley Morning Star newspaper on May 1, 2008 breaking the story:
A local hospital chain filed a major multi-million dollar lawsuit against an insurance broker for fradulent practices.
Reprsentatives for the Valley Baptist Health System allege that the local hospital chain was swindled out of more than $2 million dollars for insurance policies that didn’t exist.
A 47-page lawsuit filed in a Cameron County state district court outlined alleged acts of deception, fraud and theft.
Valley Baptist Health System alleges insurance broker Michael Swetnam, Jr. sold them several policies worth millions.
Swetnam Insurance reportedly sold Valley Baptist hurricane policies from 2006 to 2008 for about $2 million dollars.
The policies were terminated last year when a new insurance company took over.
The new company alerted hospital officials to red flags in the paperwork that could possibly be criminal activity.
Attorneys for the defendents have asked the presiding judge to postpone the trial to April 19, 2010 due to attorney conflict in scheduling.
Court documents on file with the court include the government’s Exhibit List which includes, among other things, the following – Check from Valley Baptist to Swetnam Insurance Services for $2,380,638.42; Bank Statement and Deposit Ticket to Swetnam’s account, $2,380,638.42. Cashier’s Check for $250,000 Payable to Brent A. Carter; Cashier’s Check for $250,000 Payable to Joe N. Reagan; Cashier’s Check for $250,000 Payable to David R. Smith; Cashier’s Check for $150,000 Payable to Michael N. Swetnam; Bank Statement and Deposit Ticket to Swetnam’s Account showing Cashier’s Check from Swetnam to B.A.Carter for $290,242.12, Cashier’s Check from Swetnam to D.R.Smith for $290,242.12; Invoice from Swetnam to Valley Baptist for $2,521,059.00; Check #xxxxxx from Valley Baptist to Swetnam Insurance Services for $2,521,050.00; Cashier’s Check from Swetnam to Brent Carter for $274,040.00; Cashier’s Check from Swetnam to David Smith for $274,040.90 – These are only a few of the exhibits listed in court documents.