The following are instances in which licensees or
other persons violated the Florida Insurance Code and the administrative
action the department has taken against them.
Note: All administrative investigations are subject to referral to the Division of Insurance Fraud for criminal investigation.
A life agent, who was also an attorney, convinced a 70-year-old woman with
Alzheimer's to assign him as power of attorney over her
assets. As power of attorney over her accounts, he had authority
to make 1035 exchanges on her annuity accounts causing
her substantial surrender penalties, but earning him
thousands of dollars in commissions. In addition to the
senior consumer, the agent also took advantage of at
least ten other Florida consumers causing them to also
incur substantial surrender penalties. The
annuity company made restitution to the
consumers in excess of $200,000.
Disposition: License revoked and permanently barred from licensure. He was arrested for exploitation of the elderly $100,000 or more and sentenced to five years in prison followed by 10 years of felony probation and ordered to make restitution. The Florida Bar suspended him from the practice of law as well.
Case: A general lines agent
accepted premium from numerous senior citizens and issued homeowner
policies for mobile homes. The policies were purported to be
underwritten by a surplus lines carrier, when in fact they were
fraudulent policies not underwritten by any authorized insurance
company or eligible surplus lines carrier - having been produced on the
agent's home computer. An emergency order of suspension of the
agent's license was issued and she was arrested.
Disposition: License revoked and permanently barred from licensure. She was criminally charged with multiple felonies and the case remains pending.
Case: Less than one
year after being licensed, a life agent solicited
and sold two annuities to a single client. The
beneficiary of the annuities was a revocable
insurance trust for which the agent named himself
the trustee. As trustee, he had the authority to
withdraw and deposit monies from the annuities and have
those funds deposited into the trust. The agent then
began depositing checks made payable to the trust
into his personal bank account and took eleven other checks to a
check cashing store, where he received cash. In total
the agent misappropriated more than $25,000 from the trust
Disposition: License revoked and permanently barred from licensure. He was arrested and pled no contest to grand theft.
Case: Father and son surplus lines agents
and their agency were found to be engaging in a large scale scheme to divert
collected premium for their own use. The theft of premium was in excess of
$1,000,000. The investigation involved interviews and communication outside
the United States.
Disposition: Licenses of both agents and their agency were revoked. Both were arrested and criminally charged with diverting insurance premiums, and both criminal cases remain pending.
Case: A life agent submitted applications
to an insurance company on four individuals that did not exist. He made up
addresses, social security numbers, and dates of birth as well as paid the
first month's premium for each. The company issued the policies, which were
later cancelled. He claimed he committed the acts because the company paid an
annualized commission for collecting a first month's premium.
Disposition: License revoked. He was arrested and criminally charged with insurance fraud.
Case: A life agent was selling
annuities to senior citizens that provided no benefit to the
them yet produced large commissions to the agent. Many of his
victims shared common traits: they had limited investment
experience; were elderly; had limited communication skills due
either to a medical condition or being speaking English as a
second language; and readily
signed their names to voluminous documents, mostly without
Disposition: License revoked and permanently barred from licensure. Ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
Case: The Department received and investigated
complaints from consumers regarding a life agent's marketing and sales techniques. The common
thread through all complaints was that the agent would convince senior citizens to cancel their
existing annuities or retirement plans and replace them
with new annuities thus generating new commissions. He
misrepresented the terms and benefits
of the new contracts, convincing the seniors that they
would receive large bonuses for making the switch and
that they would have complete penalty-free access to their money
Disposition: License surrendered and permanently barred from licensure.
Case: A title insurance agent,
as sole officer and agent-in-charge of a title insurance agency,
failed to pay the agency's annual administrative surcharge,
failed to maintain the required surety bond, and misappropriated
$8,000. The misappropriated funds represented unpaid premiums
to the underwriter as well as title plant fees.
Disposition: Title agent's license revoked; title insurance agency's license suspended.
Case: A general lines agent cashed
multiple refund checks from an insurance company meant for
in excess of $17,000. The insurance company reviewed the
agency's book of business and
found that on each of the policies in question he had
changed the insured's mailing address to
the agency's address. The refund checks including cancellation
refunds were deposited into the agency's bank
account, of which he had control. Affidavits were provided
from several of the insureds that indicated the
endorsements on the back of the refund checks were not their true and
Disposition: License revoked.
applicant for a life including variable
annuity and health license who was
taking the examination was caught with notes in the exam
room while taking his licensing exam. This
occurred after he had failed the examination
twice already. By the time the notes were
discovered he had successfully completed the
examination, which resulted in a license
Disposition: License suspended, must re-take and pass the examination, $500 penalty. If he passes the examination, the license will be placed on probation for two years. If he fails the examination, the license will be revoked.