“We hope this sentence sends a message that this conduct will not be tolerated in our county.”
—Matt Smid, Tarrant County Assistant Criminal District Attorney
According to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, a Tarrant County judge sentenced Richard Livesay to five years in prison after he pled guilty to various charges including fraud and barratry for filing fraudulent hail claim lawsuits. Livesay reportedly would have received more than $300,000 had his fraudulent scheme not been uncovered.
First arrested in June of 2017, the Texas Department of Insurance investigators discovered Livesay had been billing insurers for fraudulent hailstorm damage to roofs without the knowledge or consent of the rightful homeowners since May 2014 and continuing through July 2016. According to Tarrant County prosecutor Matt Smid, Livesay would show up at the homes of people with roof damage, claim he was working with a roofing company and have them sign a waiver. Then, according to Smid, he would file multiple lawsuits against the insurance carriers without the homeowners ever knowing or consenting.
Pursuant to an agreed judgment with the State Bar of Texas, Livesay’s license to practice law has since been suspended for a year due to his professional misconduct. Consequences include an agreement Livesay made to pay restitution to the victims as well as testify against his former allies involved in the scheme.
As a result of the growing problem, Tarrant County is one of six places in which the Texas Department of Insurance has localized investigators and prosecutors within the district attorney’s offices to crack down on the issue.