Santa Clara man charged with 33 felonies in connection with insurance scam

5th District Court on Tabernacle Street in St. George, Utah | Photo by Rex Wholster, Getty Images, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Southern Utah insurance agent collected commissions from more than two dozen fraudulent life insurance applications he wrote on individuals without their knowledge, according to charges filed by the state attorney general’s office.

Booking photo of Michael Craig Nebeker, accused of insurance scams in both Utah and Lerimer County, Colorado, March 15, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Lerimer County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Michael Craig Nebeker, 38, of Santa Clara, faces four second-degree felony charges, including one count for pattern of unlawful activity and three counts of a fraudulent insurance act, as well as 29 third-degree felonies that include one count of forgery and 28 counts of identity fraud crimes.

Assistant Attorney General Daryl L. Bell filed the charges Sept. 21 in 5th District Court.

Nebeker allegedly wrote the life insurance applications by either forging the individuals signatures or electronically signing the documents himself. The fraud took place from October 2017 through December 2017.

Using false addresses and fake bank account information, Nebeker would receive commissions up front when the fraudulent applications were filed. He worked for Farm Bureau Insurance in St. George.

Nebeker also sold life insurance policies for Chris Burell in violation of an agreement he had with Farm Bureau.

The scheme was discovered after individuals told insurance companies that they hadn’t requested, applied for or signed life insurance policies. Investigators say they all lived in Southern Utah.

The companies affected include Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance, Columbian Life Insurance Company, Americo Financial Life and Farm Bureau Insurance.

The Utah Department of Insurance Fraud Division investigated the case.

Nebeker is being represented by Travis Christensen, who told St. George News Friday that it was too early in the case to comment.

Nebeker was indicted March 15 in Larimer County, Colorado, for writing 87 fraudulent life insurance policies between July 2015 and September 2016, using personal information from members of his church to collect commissions, according to court records.

In a majority of the fraudulent policies, Nebeker was able to obtain personal information through his involvement with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Loveland, Colorado.

He wrote policies under Great Western Insurance Company, which discovered the fraud after numerous individuals called to report they had received insurance documents from the company but had never purchased a policy, the Colorado indictment says.

It was discovered that Nebeker opened multiple policies in different names using the same bank account information and mailing address, authorities say.

He was charged with four class-5 felony offenses, including two counts of insurance fraud and two counts of forgery, along with 72 class-4 felony counts of identity theft.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

The Colorado case is still pending.

Email: cblowe[email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  • DRT September 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    This dude needs to go away for a very long time. In a hardcore prison.

  • Mike P September 29, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Oh, he’s a bright one. How could he possibly think he could get away with this?

  • Dolly September 29, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Like an animal that eats its own young, this guy preyed upon fellow church members. Nice!

  • KR567 September 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Give him a cell next to Madoff

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