Sherman insurance agent accused of pocketing thousands from policy holders

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - Matthew Scott Turner stands accused of scamming dozens of customers out of over $80,000.

Turner had been with the company for almost 15 years, at least three of which they say he was stealing money from customers.

"What if my house had burned down?" said Denison resident Cindy Aguilar.

Aguilar found out she was one of Turner's victims a couple of weeks ago when she went in to add something to her policy.

That's when she realized she didn't have coverage and Garland Insurance told her what had been going on.

"Matt Turner, your agent, has been fired because he was stealing money from us, and it looks like you're one of the victims," Aguilar said.

Garland Insurance office manager Connor White said that the fraud had been going on for at least three years, affecting over 100 policies.

He said customers should check for these signs that they were victim to the scam, then report it to police.

"If they've never received a receipt for their last payment, that's a big red flag," White said. "You should always receive a receipt and you should always get some sort of documentation for what you are paying for."

Aguilar uses Garland to insure her home, a rental property, her husband's business, and four cars.

She said she would have never known she wasn't covered if she hadn't gone into the office.

"I had been with them for almost 2 years. It makes me wonder, have I ever been covered?" Aguilar said.

Aguilar said she had paid for her policy six months in advance, so it was supposed to cover her through November, but was told it had expired a couple of weeks ago.

She said she was given two options: pay for a month of coverage or go to another company.

So she wrote a check to Garland Insurance, but her mortgage company told her the policies didn't exist.

White said that Turner likely got away with this for so long because people trusted him.

"This was a very trusted guy, people knew his address and they would come to his house and give him payments," White said.

Aguilar says she trusted Turner because he lives right down the street from her, and her husband has even done business for him. But now she thinks differently of him.

"I hope Matt Turner goes to jail," Aguilar said.

Garland Insurance is still open and wants people to know that they are in the process of investigating.

The Texas Department of Insurance confirms that there is a pending enforcement case against Turner for "potential violations of the insurance code" and that anyone who suspects fraud should report it to them at 1-800-252-3439.

Matt Turner declined comment on this story.