British Columbia

Ex-insurance agent made $650K in commission on fake claims, investigation finds

A former life insurance agent has been permanently banned from the industry after he filed more than 100 fake client applications using imaginary names over six years, making around $650,000 in commission along the way.

Paul Bradbeer fined after cashing in on more than 100 bogus claims

Paul Brian Bradbeer, a former life insurance agent in B.C., has been banned from the industry after running a scheme that earned him more than half a million dollars in commission over two years. (Gajus/Shutterstock)

A former life insurance adviser has been banned from the industry after he filed more than 100 fake client applications using made-up names, making around $650,000 in commissions along the way.

Paul Bradbeer has also been fined $10,000 — the highest fine the Insurance Council of B.C. can give.

The ban and fine are the result of a investigation by the council, which regulates agents in B.C. ​— but Bradbeer's former employer also sued him over the scam.

At one point, Bradbeer was director of sales for the B.C. branch of Foresters Financial.

Foresters took him to B.C. Supreme Court to try to recoup the commission it paid him as a result of the scam, as well as special damages.

That lawsuit was settled out of court in January 2017.

'He put his interests before everything else'

The council's investigators found Bradbeer filed the bogus applications in 2015 and 2016, though Foresters claimed the scheme went as far back as 2010. 

The investigation found Bradbeer pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars in commission, using some of the money to pay monthly premiums on the fake accounts to keep up appearances.

"Council found the former licensee's actions were financially motivated and he put his interests before everything else," reads the discipline order, published online on Friday.

Foresters Financial fired Paul Bradbeer in November 2016 after it found out he'd scammed them for more than half a million dollars in commission. (Shutterstock)

Foresters fired Bradbeer in November 2016. Bradbeer, who has lived and worked in Kelowna and Surrey, gave up his insurance licence after that.

The decision didn't say what or who tipped off Foresters about the scheme.

The council decided on the penalty for Bradbeer in August 2017. It was supposed to come into effect that October, but it was held up by Bradbeer's request for a hearing.

It eventually came into effect on Dec. 19, 2018, after Bradbeer changed his mind.

Bradbeer has been deemed "unsuitable" to hold an insurance licence anywhere in the province and has to pay the $10,000 fine by March 19. He's also been ordered to cover the council's investigative costs of $1,000.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story misstated the completion date of the council’s investigation.
    Feb 22, 2019 6:23 PM PT

now