Georgia Insurance Agent Arrested for Stealing Thousands From Seniors
Contact: Ashley Carr
YULEE, Fla. – The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), which operates under the direction of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, today announced the arrest of William David Rodeffer III of Folkston, Georgia. Rodeffer allegedly accepted insurance premium payments from two clients for insurance policies that were never purchased. Nearly $40,000 in premium payments was paid to Rodeffer on these two policies, one of which was for workers’ compensation insurance. The consumer who believed he purchased a workers’ compensation policy had an employee who was injured and as his employer, he was left to cover an added $30,000 in medical bills and lost wages. In total, nearly $70,000 in financial losses were caused by Rodeffer.
Once licensed as an insurance agent in Georgia, Rodeffer was working with an agent in Georgia but moved by Yulee when they opened a second office there. He applied for a license in Florida but was denied because of his criminal history, meaning he was not qualified to transact insurance business in Florida.
DIF’s investigation revealed that for nearly three years, Rodeffer continued to illegally sell insurance policies in Florida despite his denied application for licensure. It was during this time that he repeatedly accepted premium payments from two clients for policies he never purchased, meaning that customers never had coverage.
One of the clients, a 91 year-old Floridian, thought he purchased a workers’ compensation policy from Rodeffer. It wasn’t until one of the workers under the policy was injured and filed a claim against the policy sold by Rodeffer that it was realized the policy never existed. At least 10 premium payments were made only to find out that all those payments were kept by Rodeffer leaving the 91 year-old without workers’ compensation coverage and $30,000 in medical bills to cover.
The second client, American Legion Post 283, was led to believe they held general liability property insurance coverage after providing multiple premium payments to Rodeffer. DIF’s investigation went on to show that Rodeffer failed to obtain insurance coverage for them as well.
Rodeffer is currently awaiting trial in Georgia for similar charges and had previously been charged in 2014 by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office for a separate but similar offense.
Investigators believe strongly that other victims – specifically senior citizens – remain in Florida. If you or anyone you know have conducted insurance related business with William David Rodeffer III please contact DIF. The Division has a toll-free Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous, and if they provide information that leads to a conviction, they may be eligible for a cash reward through our Anti-Fraud Reward Program.
Rodeffer was booked on February 9, 2016 into the Duval County Pre-Trial Detention Center with a bond of $200,024. He has been charged with one count of grand theft from a person 65 years of age or older, grand theft, scheme to defraud, and five counts of conducting insurance related business while being unlicensed.
This case will be prosecuted by the Office of State Attorney Joe Licandro of the 4th Judicial Circuit and if convicted, Rodeffer faces up to 60 years in prison.
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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).