Matthew Sias, an insurance agent who ran for the Lafayette City Council in 2019, was arrested May 10 by Louisiana State Police for allegedly committing insurance fraud from December 2019 through September 2020.

Sias, a property and casualty producer and owner of MSJ Insurance LLC, was booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional facility for three counts of producer fraud, four counts of felony theft and one count of automobile insurance fraud, according to a press release from the Louisiana State Police, Troop I.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance issued a cease and desist order to suspend the producer license of Matthew Sias on Sept. 2, 2020, due to allegations of insurance fraud. The LDI also fined Sias $1,500.

Citing the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, a Lafayette radio station reported that Sias was bonded out of the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center last September when LDI issued the C&D because of allegations that Sias misappropriated insurance premiums on more than one occasion.

LDI investigators found last September that Sias accepted premium payments from multiple clients, but failed to remit their premiums, resulting in cancellations of their policies.

On Jan. 9, 2020, Sias and MSJ were cited by LDI for similar activity, according to the C&D order issued to Sias and his agency on Sept. 8, 2020.

The Sept. 8 C&D involved two complaints: one from a consumer about payment on her homeowers policy, and the other complaint dealt with Sias’s failure to pay the premium for flood insurance on The Groom Room in New Iberia.

On May 11, a news source quoted Sias as saying, “In both cases, we cut checks to the clients. Nothing is owed to the customers now.”

Subsequent to the C&D and suspension of Sias’s license last September, the State Police initiated an investigation into the matter and determined that illegal fraudulent activity had taken place, according to the LSP May 11 press release.