Palm Beach County Insurance Agent Arrested for Falsifying $3 Million Worth of Life Insurance Policies
Contact: Ashley Carr
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of Cledith E. Oakley III, owner of Asset, Insurance & Mortgage Services, Inc. or AIMS in Boynton Beach, on charges of grand theft and insurance fraud after it was discovered that he stole the identity and information of his business partner in an effort to conceal commission profits made from the sale of fraudulent life insurance policies. Oakley utilized his experience in the insurance industry to write fraudulent life insurance policies for himself and his two minor sons, and falsely inflated his income in order to obtain higher commissions.
An investigation conducted in coordination with the Department’s Division of Agent and Agency Services revealed that Oakley, a licensed insurance agent, executed an elaborate scheme in which he created a shell company, AIMS, and directed an employee to file false applications for life insurance policies in excess of $3 million. As the head of AIMS, Oakley received monetary commissions from the sale of the policies but purposefully neglected to pay the subsequent premium payments. When confronted by investigators, Oakley admitted to intentionally defrauding insurance companies for the sole purpose of receiving commission payouts.
Oakley’s scheme unraveled when the business partner whose identity was stolen became suspicious and contacted the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud. Bank records subpoenaed as part of the investigation proved that Oakley was the sole signer on bank accounts that contained the fraudulently obtained commission payouts. Bank records further proved that Oakley withdrew funds from these accounts for personal use. In total, Oakley acquired nearly $30,000 in commissions from the sale of five bogus policies that totaled $3 million in coverage.
This case will be prosecuted by the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor in West Palm Beach. The Division of Agent and Agency Services, which licenses insurance agents, will be permanently barring Oakley from any direct or indirect participation in the insurance business.
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 $350,000 to 60 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).