Insurance Agent Caught on Hidden Camera - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Insurance Agent Caught on Hidden Camera


Judging by all the signs and what's written on the wall, you would think Richard Tarco's Northwest Houston business was a place to buy insurance.

But Tarco denies it.

Then how does he explain what Fox 26 Investigates captured on video?

Tarco gave a much different answer to the same question when it was posed by a FOX 26 employee with a hidden camera.

He not only told that employee he sold insurance, he went on to say he specializes in coverage for high risk drivers.

But when we confronted Tarco he denied selling insurance. Why would he deny it?

Because he no longer has a license to sell insurance.

The Texas Department of Insurance revoked Tarco's license back in 2007 for what that state agency called, "fraudulent and dishonest acts."

In the revocation order, the state accused Tarco of taking insurance payments from customers and keeping the money instead of passing it on to the insurance carrier. The order also accuses Tarco of giving some customers proof of auto insurance cards that were phony.

"This had brought a lot of trouble to us," Glenna Leonard said.

That trouble followed a car wreck the Leonard's son, Brent, had last summer.

"Missed a stop sign and hit somebody and broadsided them," Brent's father, Robert Leonard, said.

The Leonards said even though their son made monthly payments to Richard Tarco, he ended up having no coverage.

"I think he (Tarco) was taking the money and putting it in his pocket," Glenna Leonard said.

At the time of the accident Brent was driving a truck owned by his father's company. So the driver he hit ended up suing his parents.

"I'm 70-years-old this is the first time in my life I've ever been sued, it's no fun," Robert Leonard said.

Fox 26 Investigates found half a dozen people telling the same story that they paid Richard Tarco for car insurance only to find they had no coverage.

"I feel really bad especially since we had confidence in the agent and this happens to us," a customer said.

Attorney Annie Basu is representing two Tarco customers who've had accidents.

"And we found out these clients don't have any coverage whatsoever," Basu said.

Even though some customers can prove to us they paid Richard Tarco for insurance, the actual insurance carrier tells them their policy numbers don't exist.

"Not only is my fear for people who are paying the premium, it's fear for you and I who are driving on the road," Basu said. "If we get hit by one of these people who think they have insurance but really don't, where do we find our recourse, what do we do?"

What does Tarco have to say to customers who say they paid him for insurance but have nothing to show for it?

"I’m sorry, I can't comment," Tarco said.

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