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Tampa Woman Charged with Selling Fake Insurance Cards

8/30/2007

CONTACT:  Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842 
 
TAMPA—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is urging consumers to contact the Department of Financial Services if they purchased automobile insurance coverage from a Tampa woman who allegedly sold fraudulent insurance cards.
 
Margaret Stillings, 49, who was doing business at 4170 E. Hillsborough Ave., was arrested on August 16 following an investigation by the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.  She was arrested on charges of providing false/fraudulent proof of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) motor vehicle insurance and transacting insurance without a license, both third-degree felonies.  She was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, with bond set at $5,000, and if convicted on both charges faces up to five years in prison on each count. 
 
“Consumers should call the department’s consumer helpline or log on to MyFloridaCFO.com to verify licensure before doing business with any insurance agent,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the department and DIF.  “We’ve made it easy and quick to get information you need to protect yourself and your family.”
 
Undercover agents entered Stillings’ place of business and allegedly purchased a fraudulent auto insurance card from her for $100.  Stillings has never been licensed to sell insurance in Florida, and therefore any person in possession of an insurance card sold by this individual or obtained from that address should verify that they do in fact have proper insurance.  For assistance in verifying coverage or verifying an agent’s license, consumers should call the department’s consumer helpline at 1-800-342-2762.
 
Detective Michael Hennessy was DIF’s lead investigator.  The charges will be prosecuted in Hillsborough County by the State Attorney's Office, 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida.
 
The Division of Insurance Fraud is a statewide law enforcement agency that investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation.  To report information about this case or any other possible insurance fraud case, 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 an arrest and conviction.