Volume 4, No. 4 - April 2015

News You Can Use

- Updating you on what's going on

Insurance Agent Found Guilty of Racketeering and Money Laundering

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced that a jury of his peers has found Cantonment insurance agent Randall Petersen guilty of racketeering and money laundering. An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that Petersen conspired with others during 2010 and 2011 using the business name College Consultants of the Gulf Coast to defraud insurance companies out of more than $891,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22nd.
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Pompano Beach Insurance Agent Arrested for Selling Fraudulent Policies to Elderly Military Families

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrest of Patrice Sands of Pompano Beach for selling fraudulent insurance policies to elderly military veterans and their families at Make-A-Wish Veterans, Inc., a Miami-based company that provides assistance to veterans. An agency investigation discovered that Sands collected premiums from her victims and deposited the funds into bank accounts tied to her business, Universal Research Group Insurance Agency, but failed to secure policies through a company licensed to transact insurance in the state of Florida.
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Miami Insurance Agent Arrested for Insurance Fraud

The Florida Department of Financial Services announced the arrest of Miami insurance agent Richard Gomez for insurance fraud. An investigation by the Department’s Division of Insurance Fraud and Division of Agent & Agency Services revealed that Gomez diverted his customers’ premium payments into his company’s bank accounts.
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Jacksonville Resident Arrested for Insurance Fraud

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud announced the arrest of Lavanda Hatcher of Jacksonville for receiving nearly $42,000 in fraudulent medical insurance benefits. An investigation revealed that Hatcher filed 14 separate claims alleging that she and five members of her family sustained fractures or similar injuries. The treatment she claimed to have received, however, never took place.
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Vero Beach Insurance Agent Arrested for Filing False Claims

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud announced the arrest of Jessica Gianna for filing nine fraudulent health insurance claims between May 2012 and January 2014. Gianna filed the fraudulent claims on behalf of herself and a family member while employed at a Vero Beach insurance company.
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7 Tampa Residents Arrested Following Two-Year PIP Fraud Investigation

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud announced the arrests of seven Tampa residents following a two-year PIP fraud (Personal Injury Protection) investigation involving Integrated Healing Clinic in Tampa. The Division’s investigation discovered that clinic staff had filed several patient claims with multiple insurance carriers for prices that far exceeded actual treatment costs and, in some cases, for treatments that never took place.
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Former Ocala Area Man Arrested for Investment Fraud

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) announced the March 9 arrest of James Allen Hall in Kansas by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office. Hall has been charged with grand theft, and he is currently awaiting extradition to Florida. The case is being prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution in Orlando. The OFR initiated the investigation into Hall as a result of a tip from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Hall acted as a Third Party Administrator of 401(k) plans for several Florida and out-of-state companies. Hall is alleged to have changed plan participants’ email and residential addresses to his own without the participants’ knowledge or consent. Further, he allegedly generated fraudulent expenses under the guise of administrative, miscellaneous, annual and participant fees for his own personal gain. Hall purportedly placed sell orders on mutual fund holdings to fund his falsified expenses. It is believed that Hall received more than $800,000 in illegal gains as a result of this scheme.
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