Louisiana Department of Insurance issues Cease and Desist Orders and Fine Notices in Shreveport area for conducting insurance business without a license

June 9, 2010

The Louisiana Department of Insurance is urging consumers to be alert to the following fraudulent activities. The Department is issuing a Cease and Desist Order against Shel St. Clair and Richard Rinalo doing business as Integrity Claims Consulting and/or Red River Insurance Construction and a fine in the amount of $1,500 each for doing insurance business in the state of Louisiana without a license.

Shel St. Clair, owner of Integrity Claims Consulting and/or Red River Insurance Construction, is a resident of Illinois and has been doing business in Louisiana since the fall of 2009, acting as a public adjuster in the Shreveport/Bossier area without being licensed. Richard Rinalo is also a resident of Illinois and has been doing business in Louisiana since the fall of 2009, acting as a public adjuster in the Shreveport/Bossier area without being licensed. Both Ms. St. Clair and Mr. Rinalo have assisted several homeowners in the Shreveport/Bossier area with claims resulting from tornados in the area in late 2009. They would advise the homeowner that they could “rush” the claim with the insurance company. In most instances, they collected the homeowner’s deductible up front in order to secure the job.

Ms. St. Clair and Mr. Rinalo were also acting in the capacity of general contractors; however, they are not registered and/or licensed with the State Licensing Board for Contractors. They will also be served a Cease and Desist Order from the State Licensing Board for Contractors. Ms. St. Clair and Mr. Rinalo would sometimes start the remodeling to the homeowners residence; however, in some instances, the work would not be started, completed to the homeowner’s satisfaction, or completed at all.

The Department of Insurance, Fraud Section, has been working in conjunction with the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft Unit along with the State Licensing Board for Contractors in an effort to protect the residents of Louisiana.

Commissioner Donelon reminds consumers to do business with adjusters who are licensed in the state of Louisiana. Consumers who feel they have been a victim of fraud or are uneasy about any insurance related transaction are urged to call the Department of Insurance Fraud Section at 225-342-4956 or 1-800-259-5300. If callers do not want their names used, they can request that their involvement be kept confidential.

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