Man Charged For Swindling Elderly Couple After 2015 Moore Tornado

Friday, March 25th 2016, 6:05 pm
By: News 9

The storms may have passed, but the trouble for victims didn't stop there. A man has finally been charged for targeting an elderly couple and scamming them out of their money.

"In Oklahoma there are storms that happen a lot, and people don't know exactly what the process is,” Brown O’Haver public adjuster Alice Young said. “So somebody comes and says they're going to help them they don't know which way is right, and so they do it, and then they're taken advantage of, and it's wrong."

And it’s what happened to an 80-year-old couple.

Last year's March tornado in Moore left behind a whirlwind of confusion and vulnerability. When a man showed up offering help, the couple took it.

"The individual who was not licensed as a public adjustor approached two people in the Moore area who had damage from a tornado one year today,” Buddy Combs of the Oklahoma Insurance Department said.

One year later, the attorney general charged Antario Brown for swindling the couple.

"One of the big issues in this case is the person approached the homeowners and informed them that they were required to obtain his services in order to go through the claims process,” Combs said.

Hiring a public adjustor is not required by law, especially one that's fake. Alice Young is a real public adjustor licensed by the state, and when Brown approached her to finish off the job he started, she immediately knew something was wrong.

"He took the money and said the he was using it to get the home started for construction, but then he kept it,” Young said.

And work was never started. Young called the state insurance department and that investigation led to charges. Young also got the couple 30,000 more dollars than what their insurance company offered them.

"It's significant because Moore has been hit by multiple tornadoes in the last few years, and the victims in Moore face this thing on a continuing basis,” Combs said.

But not this time.

Public adjusters have a card issued to them by the state. You can also call the state insurance department to verify licensure.