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CFO Jeff Atwater Announces the Arrest of ‘Most Wanted’ Insurance Fraud Suspect, Ponzi Scheme Operator

4/12/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert 
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of one of Florida’s “most wanted” insurance fraud criminals, defendant Erline Telfort, of Broward County.  The arrest came last week as new information was provided through the CFO’s Public Assistance Fraud Unit after the launch of his “Most Wanted” insurance fraud website,
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/PressOffice/MostWanted, which engages Floridians in the search for scammers who have eluded law enforcement. 
 
A fraud investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud determined that Telfort, along with the principal operator of E&M Insurance Services and Santa Maria’s Insurance Services, conducted a “Ponzi” scheme to steal approximately $500,000 from a finance company.  Telfort, 29, is charged with organized fraud and criminal conspiracy.
 
“This arrest is a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication of our fraud investigators,” said CFO Atwater.  “For too long scam artists like these have been allowed to steal hard earned money from honest Floridians.  I can assure you my office is up to the challenge of uncovering these schemes and continuing to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
 
From January to December 2009, Telfort and Maralene Raymondville, who was arrested in November 2010 on similar charges, acted as agents for the Santa Maria Insurance Company and E&M Insurance, preparing over 200 fraudulent insurance policies and depositing over $600,000 into their business account.
 
Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0455. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.  The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $250,000 to approximately 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program.
 
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.