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2 posts from December 2011


Manslaughter? Aggravated assault? DWI? Give that man a state license, judge finds

Talk about casualty insurance. Mitchell Wade Ragland has a rap sheet for assault, aggravated assault, voluntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in Grayson County. 

House fireNow he wants to try his hand at the insurance business. Would Ragland be, like, a good neighbor? An administrative law judge this month said she thinks so. She recommended that Ragland should get a license as a property and casualty insurance adjuster. 

Ragland's voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault arose when he was attacked by four individuals and stabbed several times, resulting in a collapsed lung, according to court documents. Although wounded, he retrieved his firearm from his truck and shot two of the people who attacked him, killing one of them. He was given probation for five years. 

In most cases, a voluntary manslaughter conviction would warrant denial of an application. “His actions Car wreck
were not those of a murderer but of someone presumably scared, certainly injured and dying, and trying to protect himself,” Administrative Law Judge Wendy K.L. Harvel wrote in her proposal for decision.

Ragland successfully completed his probation a number of years ago and has no further criminal record other than the 1998 guilty plea to misdemeanor DWI. “DWI is not a violent crime, and is not an indication that Mr. Ragland would behave inappropriately under stressful situations,” Harvel found.

The Texas Department of Insurance will still have final say in whether Ragland gets a license. 

-- Darren Barbee

Plano man accused of sham marriage to gain citizenship, ripping off government, feds say

A Plano man either has a lot of explaining to do to his wife or the government after being accused of entering a sham marriage to obtain citizenship, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

MarriageA federal indictment says Okey F. Nwagbara, 45, entered into a fraudulent marriage and provided false statements to immigration officials.

The government says Nwagbara fibbed about: 1) being married for the past three years and living with his U.S. citizen spouse; 2) having zero children despite having two; 3) saying he hadn’t claimed to be a U.S. citizen when in fact he had stated that on a mortgage application in January 2006.

Nwagbara, who has been a naturalized citizen since 2008, was the owner of Advanced MedEquip & Supplies Ltd., a durable medical equipment business in Richardson. Oh by the way, Nwagbara, who is in federal custody, has also been indicted in a healthcare fraud case with a co-defendant on felony charges related to accusations that they defrauded Medicare of more than $500,000.

Nwagbara’s court-appointed attorney in both cases, Edwin Tomko of Dallas, said he is in the process of formulating a strategy for his client's defense.

Nwagbara faces three counts of making a false statement in an immigration document and three counts of unlawful procurement of naturalization.

If convicted, Nwagbara faces 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each count in the marriage case. Also, Nwagbara’s status as a U.S. citizen will be revoked by court order.

 -- Darren Barbee