Unlicensed Miami Insurance Agent Charged with 72 Felony Counts and Stealing more than $48,000 in Escrow Payments
Contact: Ashley Carr
MIAMI, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Division of Investigative and Forensic Services announced today the recent arrest of George Garcia, 69, following his alleged unlicensed insurance activity that resulted in the theft of at least $48,507 in escrow payments from 10 unsuspecting South Florida homeowners.
In response to alleged criminal activity in 2014, Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation issued a cease and desist order to Garcia, his ex-wife Dayami Quetgles, and their companies: Scottsdale Property and Casualty Insurance, Inc., C.I.S., Colony Insurance, and Payless LLC.
DFS’ Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services discovered
Garcia was continuing to conduct insurance-related business in Florida without the required licenses. Garcia was found to have submitted numerous fake insurance certificate forms to financial institutions across South Florida in an alleged effort to obtain homeowners’ insurance escrow funds. Garcia instructed the banks to make the escrow checks payable to his illegitimate businesses that were later discovered to be connected to a post office box owned and controlled by Garcia. Records show the stolen checks were then collected and deposited into Garcia’s bank account.
Garcia was arrested and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Facility; his bond was set at $360,000. He has been charged with 72 counts of fraudulent activity, which include 12 counts each of unlicensed insurance activity, unlicensed insurance activity as an affiliated party, engaging in activity without certification, organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and uttering a forged instrument.
This case will be prosecuted by the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office and if convicted of all charges, Garcia could face a prison term of more than 100 years.
Investigators believe there may be additional victims of Garcia’s fraudulent conduct. If you, or anyone you know, believe you have fallen victim to the deceitful practices of George Garcia or his companies, please call the Fraud Tip Hotline immediately: 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous and any information that leads to a conviction may be eligible for a cash reward.
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).