March 29, 2005                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Morrision issues cease and desist against global healings society, Joseph Michael Gardiner
Washington state man ordered to stop selling fake insurance in Montana


      
      Montana State Auditor John Morrison has taken action to end a comprehensive illegal insurance scheme aimed at Montanans. Morrison issued a Cease and Desist Order prohibiting Joseph Michael Gardiner and his company The Global Healings Society of Puyallup, Wash., from conducting insurance business or acting as insurance agents in Montana.
      
      "This is a serious problem," Morrison said. "These operators are taking people's money, but when the victim suffers a loss, they find that they have no insurance. Our main goal is protecting consumers and we will aggressively pursue bad actors in the industry to prevent them from taking advantage of Montanans."
      
      Morrison's Order is based on his findings that Joseph Michael Gardiner and his organization The Global Healings Society, which are not organized or licensed as insurance companies, are soliciting and selling unauthorized and unapproved insurance coverage. Morrison strongly urges any Montanan that has purchased insurance coverage from Joseph Michael Gardiner and his company Global Healings to contact the Montana State Auditor's Office and to meet with a licensed insurance agent as soon as possible to secure legitimate coverage.
      
      Gardiner and his group are accused of selling fake insurance as various "bond" products offering health, home owners, auto and life coverages. For a $300 annual payment, purchasers are provided with a "Financial Responsibility Agreement" instead of a policy and are promised "full coverage with no deductible".
      
      "With insurance premiums on the rise and consumers searching for ways to obtain insurance coverage at a manageable cost, I caution folks to be wary of plans that appear too good to be true," Morrison said.
      
      "The best way to fix this situation is to make it a felony to sell illegal insurance plans in Montana," Morrison continued. "I have been working with legislative leaders to pass such legislation this session. We recently introduced SB 114 which would give my office even better tools to prosecute these types of criminals."
      
      If you have been contacted, or have information concerning any of these entities, please contact the Investigations Unit at the State Auditor's Office at 1-800-332-6148.