AGENT ARRESTED FOR STEALING INSURANCE PREMIUMS
Some Central Florida customers were left with no coverage for recent hurricanes.
A property insurance agent who served customers in Hardee, Polk and DeSoto
counties is facing several felony charges stemming from allegations that he
stole insurance premiums from homeowners and never secured property insurance
coverage. Victims realized something was wrong when their hurricane claims were
“It is appalling to think about the risk this individual knew his
customers were facing, customers who trusted him to take care of them,” said
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of
Financial Services. “We are doing all we can to secure help for these victims,
from urging insurance companies to honor these policies to directing victims to
apply for compensation from a state victim assistance fund.”
Investigators with the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of
Insurance Fraud, working with the Polk County State Attorney’s Office,
determined that Jason Mathew Ford, 33, of Sebring, misappropriated almost
$30,000 in insurance premiums from at least 15 Floridians. Ford is charged with
grand theft, scheme to defraud, premium misappropriation and uttering a forged
instrument. He was arrested just before midnight Wednesday in Indiana, and is
being held on a $500,000 bond while awaiting extradition to Florida.
Ford owned and operated the Wauchula franchise of Great Florida Insurance,
located at 110 W. Orange St., in Wauchula. Investigators determined some of the
victims were elderly and at least one was disabled.
The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates
various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and
workers’ compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or
another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Hotline at
1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading
to a conviction.
The skyline for November is beautiful
Lakeland in Polk County.