State of Oregon fines owner of downtown Woodburn properties for defrauding insurance customers
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services revoked the insurance producer license of a Canby man who owns properties and has conducted business in downtown Woodburn. The department's Division of Financial Regulation revoked the license of James Frackowiak, who owns the former Woodburn city hall building and the neighboring gas station building, and has revoked the license for his insurance business, Plan-It Financial.
Plan-It Financial was most recently based in Oregon City, but for a time the business also operated out of Woodburn in the former gas station building.
The division fined Frackowiak $14,000 and has ordered him to return $4,275 in premium payments to customers he defrauded, according to a state of Oregon press release.
The division found that on 12 occasions, Frackowiak and Plan-It Financial deposited premium funds into business accounts instead of in a trust account, as required by state law. In addition, after not providing insurance, Frackowiak did not refund customers' premium payments within 30 days, which violated state law.
"This is an exceptionally important issue because insurance agents have a responsibility to serve their customers' needs and act ethically," said insurance Commissioner Laura Cali Robison in the press release. "When consumers pay their premiums, they need to trust that they will actually be insured."
Frackowiak purchased both of his Woodburn properties in 2012, paying $250,000 for the city hall building and $120,000 for the gas station.
The former city hall building is one of three Woodburn buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, but the building has been mostly vacant for decades and is in disrepair. Frackowiak said in 2015 that it would cost $1.5 million to renovate and refurbish the 100-year-old, 12,500-square-foot building's interior.
Frackowiak has faced a number of Bureau of Labor and Industry claims for unpaid wages, has been fined multiple times by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality for failing to comply with an order related to the underground storage tank system at the Woodburn service station property, and has in his name two federal tax liens totaling $256,392.84.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Frackowiak was first licensed as an insurance producer in Oregon in October 1997. He's being charged $2,000 for two violations of not providing insurance after collecting premiums and $12,000 for 12 violations of depositing premiums into business accounts and not a trust.