JACKSONVILLE MAN INDICTED IN EMPLOYEE LEASING SCAM
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and United States Attorney Paul I. Perez announced a 23-count indictment against the former owner and operator of a now-defunct professional employee organization that left thousands of workers in several states without workers compensation coverage despite collecting millions in premiums.
Tom King, 41, of Jacksonville, allegedly collected $5.8 million in worker’s compensation coverage for illegal, fraudulent and unauthorized coverage. The indictment is the result of a lengthy investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark B. Devereaux is prosecuting the charges. If convicted on all 23 counts, King faces up to 160 years in prison and a fine of $5.7 million.
"Worker's compensation fraud puts workers at serious risk and wreaks havoc with our economy. Injured workers and their families pay the ultimate price, but we all pay through higher premiums and higher costs for goods and services, including costs for emergency rooms where uninsured injured workers end up," said Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. "The department is pleased that we were able to help the U.S. Attorney's office get this indictment. These allegations, if true, must be dealt with swiftly and severely."
The indictment charges that Miralink, formerly headquartered in Jacksonville, represented to clients that the employees were covered by Regency Insurance of the West Indies, Ltd., located in Capistrano Beach, Calif. It is alleged that Regency was not authorized to sell insurance in Florida, that the coverage they sold was fraudulent, and that Miralink knew there was no real coverage.
“This very important prosecution demonstrates the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State of Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud and the United States Attorney’s Office to protect citizens from insurance fraud and its tragic consequences,” said United States Attorney Paul I. Perez.
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 Busters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
The Old Hernando County Courthouse, surrounded by grand old oak trees, was built in 1912 in the county seat of Brooksville.