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CFO Sink Announces Second Arrest of Miami Agent for Stealing $14 Million with Fake Insurance Contracts

10/8/2009

CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Jennifer Hirst, (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink announced today that her Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) arrested a Miami insurance agent for the second time in less than a month for stealing more than $14 million by submitting thousands of fraudulent premium finance contracts for fictitious policyholders.  Peris also had his insurance licenses suspended by CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services.
 
Jose V. Peris, 52, of Miami is the owner and president of Insurance Force Corp., d/b/a FED USA Insurance Agency.  Peris submitted over 3,800 bogus premium finance contracts to numerous premium finance companies.  Currently, over $7 million remains unrecovered and Peris is facing multiple counts of first degree organized scheme to defraud. 
 
Peris was initially arrested on September 18, 2009 by DIF investigators for charges involving theft from a premium finance company.  Today, Peris was arrested for an additional charge of organized fraud in the first degree for actions involving three other premium finance companies. If convicted on all charges, Peris faces up to 60 years in prison. 
 
“This agent lined his own pocket by taking advantage of the trust that was placed in him, and he will be held accountable for all of his actions,” said CFO Sink. “I applaud the quick action of our investigators to uncover this scheme and bring this individual to justice.”
 
Based on an investigation by CFO Sink’s Division of Agent and Agency Services, the Department of Financial Services also issued an Emergency Order of Suspension of the insurance licenses held by Peris.
 
The Department’s investigations into Peris and his insurance agency were based on allegations that Peris lied about premium financing contracts for fictitious Citizens Property Insurance Corporation policies.  ABCO Premium Finance provided information to investigators that Peris was creating bogus contracts, and in the course of the investigation it was found that other premium finance companies were also defrauded.
 
CFO Sink urges anyone who suspects insurance fraud to report it to her Division of Insurance Fraud at http://www.MyFloridaCFO.com/fraud or by calling the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.  Consumers who have questions about premium financing can call CFO Sink’s Consumer Helpline at 1-850-413-3089 or 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (877-693-5236) or get information by visiting www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
 
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practice.