Panama City Resident Pleads No Contest to Charges of Burglary and Acting as a Bail Bond Agent
Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 - 2842
PANAMA CITY – The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today announced Chris Smith of Panama City pled no contest to three charges of acting as a bail bond agent without a license and one charge of burglary. He has been sentenced to 30 months in a state prison, which will be served concurrently with a previous sentence of 60 months for witness tampering in a related case led by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. He has also been ordered to pay investigative costs.
Smith’s case was heard by the 14th Judicial Circuit, but was prosecuted by the office of 1st Judicial Circuit Attorney Bill Eddins.
Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services has awarded nearly $365,000 to 63 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. 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. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).