The saga of the now-defunct IMA (International Massage Association) continues. Back in July, Will Green, owner/founder of IMA, basically admitted to sabotaging his own company by failing to turn over $600,000 in insurance premiums paid by massage therapists to the insurance company.
Markel, a respectable insurance company who had been underwriting IMA’s policies since Feb 1, 2008, discontinued writing policies for IMA on April 6, 2010 due to Green’s non-payment of premiums. However, contrary to some propaganda put out by AMC (American Massage Council), Markel is continuing to honor the policies they underwrote through the expiration date on the policy if it was purchased between Feb 1, 2008 and April 6, 2010, in spite of not receiving the premium payments from IMA.
Les Sweeney, President of ABMP, in a letter to former and renewing IMA members, personally spoke with a senior executive at Markel and confirmed Markel’s commitment not to leave therapists in the lurch. According to Sweeney’s letter, AMC’s announcement amounts to nothing more than a scare tactic, and one that is certainly not needed by the therapists who are already confused and scared that their insurance went up in smoke. ABMP, incidentally, has had the same insurance underwriter for more than ten years and does not need to resort to such tactics in order to attract new members.
Incredibly, Mr. Green is now trying to sell insurance through NAMT (National Association of Massage Therapists).
Let me put this in perspective. Let’s say that I, Laura Allen, take your hard-earned money and promise you an insurance policy. Then I take that money and blow it instead of paying the premiums to the underwriter like I am supposed to do. Should I then expect you to say, “that’s okay, Laura, and here’s some more of my hard-earned money and you can just sell me a new policy. I’m sure you really didn’t mean to cheat me out of that first money I paid you.” Duh.
According to a letter dated 09/10/2010 from the NAMT staff and Will Green, over 3,000 MTs have signed on with NAMT in the past 18 months. Since Green didn’t admit to his improprieties until July 2010, I truly wonder if any of that $600,000 he admitted to frittering away went in any way to pay bills at NAMT. I am purely speculating, but $600,000 is a lot of money. I personally think the therapists who had insurance with IMA at the time of Green’s announcement deserve a line-by-line accounting of exactly where that money went.
It is also totally scary to me that the website for IMA is still up, no mention of the insurance fiasco is on it, and in fact there is a video starring Will Green stating that he manages over 90 associations. He also talks about having spent $3 million on his organic farm. Maybe you can call him up and demand a bushel of turnips in exchange for the money you paid to IMA.
It has also been charged that Green is being investigated by the FBI, a charge that he categorically denies. There is no telling how much of the swirling rumors are true, but one thing is for certain: I would not give my money a second time to someone who has already done me wrong. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.