An FBI investigated Missouri insurance company could lose its federal tax exemption.
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An FBI investigated Missouri insurance company could lose its federal tax exemption.

Date: April 2, 2012
By: Sarah Duffey
State Capitol Bureau
Links: HB 1940HB 1941HB 1955

Intro: 
A Missouri House committee is considering stripping a company of its not for profit status after an FBI investigation followed a state audit.
RunTime:  0:40
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The audit revealed Missouri Employers Mutual spent excessive amounts of money on golf outings and vacations, along with donations to the Missouri Democratic Party.

Two possible bills would put the Missouri House Government Oversight Committee in charge of deciding whether MEM should be a private or a public company.

M-E-M's CEO Jim Owens says the legislation voids the company's federal tax exemption and takes away millions from possible coverage.

Actuality:  OWEN1.WAV
Run Time:  00:08
Description: "Those millions of dollars, and it's not many each year, stay in the state of Missouri with those 10,000 small policy holders, with those safety programs."
 
The committee did not vote on the bills.
 
Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Sarah Duffey.

Intro: 
Board members of a Federal investigated company came to Jefferson City to oppose a bill turning the company public.
RunTime:  0:42
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: A proposed bill would make Missouri Employers Mutual a public company providing a transparent database of their financial information.

MEM's CEO Jim Owens says the bill would make it harder for the company to compete by opening private information to competitors.

Actuality:  OWEN3.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "Our vendor contracts, our underwriting, our pricing, that is exactly the type of information that our competitors would use against us, and it would be inimical, against the interest of this agency, and would not be good for the business."

Owens urged the Missouri House Government Oversight Committee to do more research and take their time in passing legislation regarding the company's fate.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Sarah Duffey.

Intro: 
The FBI began an investigation after an audit revealed Missouri Employers Mutual took advantage of federal tax exemptions, now CEO Jim Owens promised to keep all trips strictly in Missouri.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: Lavish corporate trips to Hawaii and golf outings are a couple reasons Missouri Employers Mutual is getting some backlash from the audit released last month.

Missouri Employers Mutual promised the Missouri House Government Oversight Committee all future trips will be within the state's borders.

Actuality:  OWEN4.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "Since I have been there I can tell you that all board trips are now going to be in the state of Missouri and this will be now going on my, this coming up trip, will be the third year and all board trips Branson, Kansas City, and Columbia, so thats my promise and thats what we will do."

The state originally created Employers Mutual Insurance Company to provide small businesses Workers Compensation.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Sarah Duffey.


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