A woman who lost her health insurance after being arrested in a robbery was shocked to discover she was entitled to $2,000 in unpaid fines after a court ordered the government to pay.
In July, Amy Marie Tatum was arrested after she and her friends went to the Rite Aid and stole $50 worth of cosmetics from the pharmacy, police said.
A judge ordered the fines be paid to Tatum’s insurance company, but the state Department of Insurance (DOI) decided to take the $2.9 million and instead gave her $150 instead.
“The DOI chose not to enforce the debt because they knew that the defendant had already paid the debt and that the plaintiff would never collect the debt,” wrote DOI spokesman Kevin Pritchard in a court filing.
“As a result, the defendant’s attorney paid the entire debt and was not required to pay a dime to the plaintiff’s insurer.”
Tatum said she was shocked when she learned the DOI had taken her $2 million and that she was never entitled to any money from it.
The DOIs refusal to pay the $150 is the latest twist in a fight that started with a lawsuit filed in February, when Tatum sued DOI for refusing to pay her $1 million in unpaid court fines.
The suit said the fines were owed to a bank account used to fund Tatums medical expenses and that it was not possible to recover the money.
“We were shocked,” Tatum told ESPN.
“We never imagined this kind of thing would happen.
We never expected that to happen.
I mean, we were just living a normal life.”
Tumas attorney, Mark Zaid, said his client has been paying the court fees since June.
Tatum said her insurer had agreed to the settlement and it was a “win-win” situation, as the court could keep its balance.
“It is our understanding that the insurer is paying the full amount,” Zaid said.
“It is the state that paid the full sum, which means it was all paid before it was filed.”
The DOAs attorneys have not yet filed an appeal.