Former insurance agent Mark Anthony Biegler was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail with a 10-year suspended prison sentence for pleading guilty to six felony charges of insurance fraud and theft in 1st Judicial District Court of Lewis and Clark County, state officials said.
He was ordered by Judge Michael Menahan to pay $150,000 in restitution to six victims who he committed criminal insurance fraud against.
“I’m happy the victims will receive restitution and Biegler will pay for his crimes,” Troy Downing, state auditor and commissioner of securities and insurance, said in a news release. “I hope Biegler reflects on the pain he caused his victims as he spends his time behind bars and the following years paying restitution.”
Biegler was originally charged with nine felony counts of criminal insurance fraud and theft of premium on Feb. 10, 2021.
Biegler presented fake, altered insurance premium invoices to these six clients, state officials said. He collected on the premiums and kept the money without placing the insurance policy he “sold” them. He presented false commercial insurance certificates to businesses and committed theft of insurance premium to gain unauthorized control over premiums paid to five businesses in Helena, Fairfield, Whitehall, Kalispell and Conner to obtain insurance that was never placed, Downing’s office stated.
“Insurance agents are in a position of trust. When they breach that trust, we will hold them accountable,” Downing said, adding Biegler was a “con artist” who took advantage of people while risking the reputation of the insurance industry.
He said he appreciated that Menahan accounted for the effect Biegler’s actions had on the industry in his sentencing decision.
The Montana State Auditor, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance prosecuted the case. The department is a criminal justice agency that investigates and prosecutes insurance and securities fraud. Montanans can contact CSI if they believe they are being defrauded or abused by their insurance agent or company.
Megan Michelotti can be reached at [email protected]