Sherman insurance agent accused of fraud

By: Shelby Levins Email
By: Shelby Levins Email

SHERMAN, TX -- According to court records, Donel Sample is facing charges of misappropriation of funds and forgery of a financial instrument. Now a former client is speaking out, saying he helped initiate the state investigation into Sample.

Johnny Brown deals with insurance companies every day as a people's lawyer. But when he needed the homeowners insurance he was paying for, he discovered he had no coverage.

"I deal with stress every day. But it was an absolute horror - fear that I’d lost everything that I'd ever worked for,” Johnny Brown said.

An electrical fire destroyed Johnny Brown's home back in January. He thought the homeowners insurance he purchased from Sample Insurance had him covered.

"I'd called to make a claim; they said I didn't have any insurance. I quickly got to the bottom of that. I discovered Mr. Sample had pocketed my premium and issued a binder buy never gave me a policy,” Johnny Brown explained.

Court records show Donel Sample is now facing charges of misappropriation of funds - more than $15,000 and less than 20,000, as well as forgery of a financial instrument. Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown says the two charges were filed after an investigation by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Johnny Brown fears Sample may have defrauded other people.

"I was told there was a pattern of selling insurance to the poor, uneducated folks, taking advantage of this group. Do I have any proof of that? No. But I imagine it will come out in trial,” Johnny Brown said.

We were able to reach Sample by phone; he says this whole case is being blown out of proportion and declined any other comment, referring us to his lawyers.

While Johnny Brown says he was able to get the home coverage he believed he had, he says this case is not closed.

"I'm angry, I wanted to file charges and I want to stop him,” Johnny Brown said.

District Attorney Joe Brown says he expects a grand jury to hand down a formal indictment against Sample Wednesday morning.

As for Johnny Brown, he offers some tips to protect you against insurance fraud, he says:

- Only buy insurance from a reputable agent
- Get everything in writing
- And check your policy; make some phone calls to make sure you
have coverage.

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