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Billy Cleve Moore, aka Cleve Moore: Watch Out for This Man

Michael T. Griffith

Billy Cleve Moore, aka Cleve Moore, works at the Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas, and he lives at 306 South Jefferson, San Angelo, Texas 76901. If you meet or have any dealings with this man, I think you should be very careful, especially if you have any dealings with him that involve money in any way. Based on my experience with him, I believe Cleve Moore is dishonest and untrustworthy. On August 3, 2002, Cleve Moore carelessly backed into our stationary car, causing hundreds of dollars of damage. Although he apologized on the spot for the damage he had done, he later told his insurance company he wasn't even sure he had hit our car, and he even denied he had intentionally left the scene of the accident before the police could arrive to do an accident report. Two witnesses saw the accident, and both said in notarized statements that Mr. Moore backed into our stationary car. However, Mr. Moore's insurance company relied heavily on his denial in order to deny our damage claim, leaving us to pay for the damage that Cleve Moore did to our car.

On August 3, at around 2:15 PM, at the Sunset Mall in San Angelo, Cleve Moore, a Farm Bureau Insurance policy holder, backed into the rear driver's side of my 2001 Kia Sephia. My wife and two junior high school students were in our car. My wife was driving. Mr. Moore was driving a large truck. Either he wasn't looking behind him when he backed up or he didn't look carefully enough as he backed up. My wife started backing up before he did. After she began to back out, she saw Mr. Moore start to back out. She stopped and tried to honk the horn. Cleve Moore kept backing up and hit our car, making a large dent in the left rear driver's side of our car.

After Cleve Moore backed into our car, he began to drive off, acting as though he was unaware he had hit us. My wife exited our car, flagged down Mr. Moore, and advised him that he had just backed into our car. He then got out of his truck, looked at the damage, and apologized several times, in front of two witnesses. My wife says that when she stopped Mr. Moore, she had the impression that he knew why she was stopping him. My wife also notes that Mr. Moore glanced in his mirror right after he hit our car and as he was starting to drive off--that's why she was able to flag him down without having to raise her voice.

Anyway, my wife told Mr. Moore she needed to call the police so that they could do a police report. Mr. Moore said he was in a hurry and that just he wanted to leave his insurance information. Right at this time a woman who was walking by overheard this conversation and could see that my wife and Mr. Moore had just been in an accident. She stopped to tell my wife that she had recently been in an accident and that it was vital that she get a police report in order to be sure the insurance claim would be paid. My wife then turned to Mr. Moore, who was still standing only a few feet away, and informed him she was going back into the mall to call the police. She then went into the mall and called the police. When she returned, she found that Mr. Moore had left the scene of the accident. She learned that he had left his name, phone number, and insurance policy number on a piece of paper. Our daughter, who was in the back seat with her friend during the accident, told my wife that Mr. Moore had left his insurance information with her and had told her that if she had any problems to give him a call. A few days later, my wife went to the police station and filed a "blue form," a personal account of the accident.

About a week and a half after the accident, the local Farm Bureau claims representative, Mr. Calvin Boatright, wrote me a very brief letter in which he simply said that he had concluded that Mr. Moore was not "legally responsible" for the accident.

Upon receiving this letter, I suspected Mr. Moore had decided to change his story. I called him and spoke with him. He said he didn't even feel the impact of the collision and that therefore he wasn't even certain he had caused the dent in our car. I replied that I used to drive a Suburban and that once I had backed into a storage trailer and had no idea I'd done so until my wife, who was standing outside the car, yelled at me to stop and then told me I'd just hit the trailer. I recalled for him that I'd barely struck the trailer yet I had left a sizable dent in it, simply by virtue of the weight of my Suburban, even though I was backing up slowly.

I then asked Mr. Moore about the two other occupants of our car, both of whom had watched him back into our car and had felt the impact of the collision. He had nothing to say about this fact. I asked him why he had apologized several times during the few minutes after he'd gotten out of his car. He would not answer the question. I asked him why he had left the scene when my wife had asked him to wait while she went back into the mall to call the police. He said he had no idea my wife had gone to call the police. I then said, "OK, so you're saying my wife got you to stop your car, informed you that you had hit her car, and had you come out and survey the damage, and then she just walked off back into the mall without saying a word about where she was going? Is that your story?" He would not reply. I asked him why, if he didn't know he had struck our car, he had left his insurance information and made no effort to get our information. He would not answer this question either.

My wife has her doubts about Cleve Moore's claim that he didn't know he had hit our car. She says that when Cleve Moore's truck struck our car, she saw Cleve Moore's head turn rapidly about halfway. She says he didn't turn completely around to look behind him but that he sort of snapped his head suddenly about halfway when his truck hit our car, almost as if he purposely avoided turning all the way around or to look in his rearview mirror. She reports that Cleve Moore did in fact look in his rearview mirror just after he began to pull away after he hit our car. This was why she was able to flag him down so quickly. She saw him look in his rearview mirror and began waving her arms. Cleve Moore then saw my wife waving her arms at him in his rearview mirror. My wife didn't even need to raise her voice or anything. In my opinion, the fact that Cleve Moore glanced in his rearview mirror under these circumstances suggests he knew or suspected he had hit something. My wife also says that when she first made eye contact with Cleve Moore to get his attention, that she got the impression from his facial expression and body language that he knew why she was approaching him. My wife admits this is a subjective judgment on her part, and that she's not certain about it, but she does have her doubts about Cleve Moore's claim that he didn't know he had hit our car until my wife stopped him and told him.

In my view Cleve Moore is the principal culprit in this whole affair. This matter would have been cleared up in days if Mr. Moore had admitted he hit our car and had taken responsibility for doing so. I think his conduct in this matter has been as bad as, if not worse than, the behavior of the Farm Bureau Insurance claims handlers. In a particular display of dishonesty, Mr. Moore even had the gall to file a complaint against me and my wife for "phone harassment" when we called him and left messages on his answering machine, initially asking him to return our calls, to give us his address, and to calmly advise him of information that contradicted earlier claims of his, and then to ask him to clear up the matter with his insurance company, and, finally, to matter-of-factly advise him that we were considering taking him to small claims court. Mr. Moore described this as "phone harassment." Mr. Moore claimed my wife and I called him "at least once a day" for a two-week period from 15-29 August--an amazing feat considering that my wife wasn't even in the state for part of that period and that I work full-time and am busy working on a Master's degree. I only spoke on the phone with Mr. Moore once--yes, just once. Later, I called his house a few times and left short matter-of-fact messages on his answering machine as described above. My wife has never spoken with Mr. Moore on the phone. She did call his house several times, but only to leave very polite messages asking him to return our calls, and, in one instance, explaining to him, very calmly, that if he were being candid he had nothing to worry about in talking to us. Worse still, in his false complaint, Cleve Moore mentioned the accident but didn't say a word about the fact that he had apologized for hitting our car, in front of two witnesses no less, and that he had not returned our calls. My wife and I then filed a supplemental incident report to his complaint, so that any time anyone accesses his complaint they will also see our response to it. In addition, we've submitted a sworn statement detailing the false nature of Mr. Moore's complaint and recounting his unethical conduct after the accident.

When an associate of mine from work called Mr. Moore about this matter, Mr. Moore brought up the fact that there was already a dent in our car before the accident and that the dent was in the same general area as the dent at issue. The preexisting dent is a relatively neat, square, shallow dent that is several inches away from the much deeper dent that Mr. Moore made. Perhaps in his own mind Mr. Moore justifies his conduct with the rationalization that there was already a dent in the same general area of our car that he hit and that therefore this somehow excuses his hitting us and his subsequent denials and falsehoods. In point of fact, we were planning on getting the preexisting dent fixed early next year. However, because of Mr. Moore's much deeper and larger dent, it will cost two or three times as much to get that panel of the body fixed.

When we were trying to get Cleve Moore's address, my wife went to the address listed for Mr. Moore in our local phone book. She had to do so because Mr. Moore still had not given us his address, and his insurance company wouldn't do so either. When my wife went to the address listed for Mr. Moore in the phone book, she discovered that Mr. Moore had recently moved out of the house and that, of all people, his Farm Bureau insurance agent had moved into it! The insurance agent's husband answered the door. Not knowing why my wife was trying to locate Mr. Moore, the man volunteered that he and his wife and Mr. Moore were very good friends. When my wife spoke with the wife, i.e., with Mr. Moore's insurance agent, she would not provide his new address. We finally managed to obtain Mr. Moore's mailing address when we acquired a copy of the false complaint that he filed against us. I'm interested in the fact that Cleve Moore's insurance agent is living in the house he had recently vacated. Does Mr. Moore own the house? Is he his insurance agent's landlord? If so, could this explain the unethical manner in which Farm Bureau Insurance has handled our damage claim?

Speaking for myself, I don't know why any car insurance company would want a policy holder like Mr. Cleve Moore, who left the scene of an accident before the police could arrive and who changed his story when he talked to the claims agent about the accident. But Mr. Moore's actions in this case don't seem to bother Farm Bureau claims managers Calvin Boatright, Joe Drabek, and Don Skipworth. They are experienced claims agents. They should have no trouble readily discerning the essential facts of what happened.

My wife had to file a supplemental blue form accident report because Cleve Moore didn't give us his correct name and because we weren't able to get his correct address and his license plate number until after the first blue form was filed (you only have about ten days after the accident to file the initial blue form). We tried calling Mr. Moore several times in order to get this information, but he didn't return our calls. We only managed to get his license plate number by having a police officer call him. We only got his correct address and correct name when we saw a copy of the false complaint that he filed against us. When he wrote his name and insurance information on a piece of paper and gave it to our daughter, he used the name "Cleve Moore." So my wife put that name on the blue form report. But Mr. Moore's name is actually Billy Cleve Moore, so the first blue form didn't associate the accident with Mr. Moore because it didn't have his first name and because it didn't have his license plate number. (I could have asked Mr. Moore for this information when I spoke with him a couple days after the accident, but at that time I didn't realize my wife didn't have that information. When we called him back after that in order to get the information, he would not return our calls.)

Again, if you know or encounter this man, I suggest you be very careful, especially if you have any dealings with him, and certainly if you are involved in any kind of car accident with him.

My Letter to Billy Cleve Moore