Arkansas Insurance Department Commissioner Refiles Case Against Matt Lile

The Arkansas Insurance Department commissioner is reheating its lawsuit against Matt Lile, the owner of the Little Rock restaurant Lulav.

Insurance Commissioner Jay Bradford is seeking $2.4 million from Lile for his part in allegedly causing the financial messes at Cosmopolitan Life Insurance Co. and Advance Insurance Group of America, both of Little Rock. Lile was the former president of both companies and agreed in 2009 to stay away from the insurance business as a result of their meltdowns.

Advance went out of business years ago, and Cosmopolitan fell into receivership in 2009.

Back in 2009, Bradford, acting as receiver for Cosmopolitan, sued Lile for breach of his fiduciary duties among other allegations.

As that case was heading to trial, Bradford voluntarily dismissed it in May 2011 so more investigating could be done on the case.

Bradford has reopened the case, again accusing Lile of breach of fiduciary duty and using some of Cosmopolitan’s money for himself.

The lawsuit said that Lile used company funds to pay for his and Advance Insurance Group’s bills, which included “charges for personal expenses, such as playing golf, traveling to Las Vegas, and for restaurants and hotels,” the lawsuit said. The amount attributable to Lile’s personal use was $289,000, the lawsuit said.

“As a result of Lile’s conduct, Cosmo became insolvent and unable to pay legitimate claims, which led to the appointment of the Receiver,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit said that as a result of Lile’s actions, Cosmo paid $2.4 million to others when it should have been used for Cosmo’s customers or bills. Bradford is seeking that amount from Lile.

Messages for Lile left at Lulav weren’t immediately returned Thursday.