After California Department of Insurance investigation Libre must face $5.5M settlement

California Department of Insurance - judge gavel

The company will also bring to an end its transaction of immigration bonds within the state.

Following an investigation by the California Department of Insurance, Libre will be facing a $5.5 million settlement, will stop transacting immigration bonds within the state, phase out its GPS ankle monitor use, and will issue credits to the clients who remain in arrears.

The firm must also provide $420 in individual cash credits to clients who are not in an owing position.

Beyond that, the settlement resulting from the California Department of Insurance (CDI) investigation included the requirement that Libre voluntarily submit to a business practices inspection and to oversight over those practices by the department.

The CDI investigation was launched into Libre and that company’s affiliated licensed agents and surety companies in response to a filing of a “Request for Assistance” with the department. The filing was made on behalf of a former Libre client by a family member.

Following the investigation, the department discovered that Libre had been transacting unlicensed immigration bonds throughout the state. Moreover, it had been providing contracts exclusively in English, despite the fact that it was targeting the Spanish-speaking community.

The California Department of Insurance found Libre contracted with over 5,400 people in six years.

“Faced with the prospect of either detention or freedom, vulnerable immigrants trusted Libre by Nexus to explain contracts available only in English, with hidden and unclear costs, often believing that they were paying for their bond when, in fact, it only covered the GPS tracking device they were forced to wear,” said California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement.

Ricardo went on to state that the department’s decision has ceased Libre’s “misleading business practices”. Moreover, he underscored that the settlement “makes amends to those who paid excessive and often unnecessary costs.”

The California Insurance Department found that Libre’s clients’ only point of contact was the company itself, which was directly involved in the release of those participants from immigration detention centers. As a result, they contracted with the company under the false impression that this was required and that it was directly linked with their immigration bonds. Many participants were led to believe that they were paying off those bonds when in actuality they were contracting with California Department of Insurance - judge gavelLibra and were paying that company’s program fees, which had nothing to do with the bonds, said the department.

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