GALLAGHER FILES CHARGES AGAINST TWO SARASOTA AGENTS FOR
MISLEADING ELDERLY IN HOME HEALTH CARE PLAN SALES
Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that he has
ordered two Sarasota agents to answer charges that they made “false and
worthless promises” to dozens of elderly Floridians who thought they were
buying a home health care services plan but paid nearly $200,000 for access
to providers, yet never received any services.
James W. Crain, Jr., 40, director and president of Independent Living Home
Care Membership Association, was ordered to immediately stop selling or
collecting premiums for the home health care plan and, along with Michael D.
Carll, 48, has 21 days to respond to an administrative complaint alleging
that they defrauded elderly customers. The charges follow an investigation
by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Agent and Agency
Services’ Bureau of Investigation. If the charges are upheld, Crain and
Carll face revocation of their insurance agent licenses. Gallagher said he
will also seek restitution.
“It is unconscionable that anyone would take advantage of a senior citizen
looking for help to enjoy their golden years and have peace of mind,” said
Gallagher, who oversees the department and in the past three years has taken
action against more than 110 agents for elder fraud. “We will continue to
bring the full force of the law against unscrupulous agents and aggressively
educate our seniors against these scams.”
The 44 victims, most in their 80s or 90s, suffered from various disabilities
including diminished mental capacity. One 96-year-old victim is legally
blind. Investigators said Crain and Carll convinced the seniors to buy the
plan by misleading them into believing they were buying coverage for
homemaker/companion services and home medical care services. However, the
plan’s fine print indicates that they only bought “access” to providers and
not coverage for homemaker/companion or home medical care services. The
victims received no services at all.
The emergency order affects only the home health care plan being sold by
Independent Living Home Care Membership Association, and not Crain’s other
companies that also operate out of offices at 2477 Stickney Point Rd. in
Sarasota. The other companies are International Life & Health Services, lnc.;
Independent Life Home Care Agency, Inc.; International Life and Health
Services of Manatee County, Inc.; and International Life and Health Services
of Sarasota County, Inc.
To file a complaint, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com or call the department’s toll-free
consumer helpline at 1-800-342-2762.