Tampa Man Faces Felony Charges for Selling Bogus PIP Insurance Cards
CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
Unlicensed agent sold fake cards for $100 each
TALLAHASSEE—Alex Sink, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, announced today the arrest of a Tampa man accused of posing as an insurance agent and selling bogus Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance cards.
Andre Coachman, 37, worked at Coat Used Auto Sales, located at 4170 East Hillsborough Ave., and was arrested Tuesday by detectives with the Department of Financial Services' Division of Insurance Fraud. Coachman is charged with providing false/fraudulent proof of insurance and transacting insurance without a license, third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail with bond set at $5,000.
Sink is urging anyone who suspects they may have bought a bogus insurance card from Coachman or from anyone else to call the Division of Insurance Fraud's Tampa office at 813-972-8602 or, outside of Tampa, 1-800-378-0445.
"This individual put Floridians at risk of not having insurance coverage in the event they were injured in an accident," said Sink, who as Florida's CFO oversees the department.
Detectives began investigating Coachman after seeing fliers advertising the $100 insurance cards on telephone poles. Working undercover, they visited Coachman and bought one of the cards, then verified that Coachman was not licensed to sell insurance in Florida and did not have an appointment to sell insurance for Twin Cities Fire Insurance Company.
Florida drivers are required by law to carry at least $10,000 in PIP and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.
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 or any other suspected insurance fraud is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.