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Insurance Commissioner Accused of Cab Scam

By Betty Clermont  Posted by Matthew Cardinale (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   1 comment
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This article courtesy of Atlanta Progressive News.

(APN) ATLANTA - Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is being accused of taking improper actions which benefitted his cab industry campaign contributors, Atlanta Progressive News has learned.

Godfrey Waterhouse claims his son, Robert Waterhouse, was falsely arrested on account of Oxendine for allegedly running a bogus cab insurance agency. The charges were later dropped, and Waterhouse's insurance agency appears to have been completely legitimate the whole time.

An international news agency and big-city TV reporters had been waiting at the county jail, cameras rolling, as a high-ranking government official, Mr. Oxendine, led him inside, back in March 2005.

The charges against Waterhouse were quietly later dropped after three weeks. His assets were seized and still have not been returned, he says.

Meanwhile, Oxendine had demanded that several cab companies obtain new insurance, which they did, and this benefitted Republican Oxendine's big campaign contributors.

A story by Kafka? No, Oxendine!

And there's more. Now, the State Attorney General's Office appears to be investigating the matter, Atlanta Progressive News has learned from various sources, and Waterhouse is not a subject of the investigation; however, his assistance and cooperation is wanted.

Further, numerous cab companies are suing the State of Georgia because of Oxendine, and Waterhouse is trying to figure out what happened to his frozen assets.

Oxendine's office declined to comment on the matter via his spokesperson, Wayne Whitaker, because the matter has been referred to the Attorney General's Office.

"The State of Georgia did a terrible thing," Hyatt Choudhari, owner of Atlanta Airport Superior Shuttle and Limo, told Atlanta Progressive News. "We were 156 companies doing business with Waterhouse. Probably four- to five-hundred drivers across the state lost a lot of money."

What you have to understand is, many big cab companies also run their own in-house cab insurance companies, while smaller companies had been contracting with firms like Waterhouse's.

An APN analysis found that numerous cab and cab insurance company executives have donated to Mr. Oxendine almost every year since 1998:

Solomon Bekele, Insurance Executive. Yellow Cab of Georgia, Inc.; Rapid Taxi Company, Inc.; and VFH Captive Insurance Company.

Cheru Terefe, Insurance Executive. American Cab Company, Inc.; American Association of Cab Companies, Inc.; American Captive Insurance Co.; and Ethio-American Insurance Co.

Konjit Bekele, Insurance Executive. VFH Insurance, American Cab and American Assoc. of Cab companies.

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Matthew Cardinale is Editor of Atlanta Progressive News. He has written previously for the Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, Shelterforce Magazine, The Advocate Magazine, The San Francisco Bay View, and the Berkeley Daily Planet Newspaper. He has also (more...)
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