New York alleged that Acordia conspired with several insurance companies to steer customers to them in exchange for secret payments. Acordia’s top management, including its then-CEO, is alleged to have actively participated in the scheme. The suit alleges that when insurance companies refused to make the improper payments, Acordia?s management punished them by steering customers away from them and towards insurers who did pay kickbacks. The complaint also alleged that Wells Fargo participated directly in Acordia’s fraud. In one scheme, Wells Fargo agreed to “funnel” its own retail banking clients to Acordia for advice about insurance coverage. Wells Fargo did so with the understanding that Acordia, in turn, would steer this additional business to The Hartford, an insurance company that paid Acordia for such steering.
The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan sought restitution for the companies’ customers, disgorgement of illegal profits, and penalties. Illinois and Connecticut filed parallel suits on the same day.