ST. CHARLES, MO (KMOX) - One of the brothers who owned and operated US Fidelis, Darain Atkinson, has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud, felony stealing and consumer violations.
Atkinson admitted to misleading consumers in St. Louis and nationally about extended automobile service contracts sold by US Fidelis. He now faces up to eight years in prison.
But in pleading guilty to felony stealing, insurance fraud and unlawful merchandising practices, Atkinson used the words “we did” instead of “I did.” This led some to believe he was incriminating his brother Cory, who is standing trial in September. Attorney General Chris Koster says testifying against his brother was not part of the plea agreement, but called his language “interesting.”
Koster says Atkinson kept refunds owed to consumers; led consumers to believe that more vehicle repairs were covered than the contracts actually covered…and used deceptive practices designed to avoid state laws related to insurance or service contracts.
Last June, a St. Charles grand jury handed down a 14 count indictment against Darain Atkinson and a 13 count indictment against his brother, Cory.
Sentencing is set for June 16th. There are also federal charges pending in this investigation. Atkinson’s lawyer says any prison time for federal crimes would probably run concurrently with the state sentence, meaning Atkinson would spend a maximum of eight years in prison.
KMOX © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.