Volume 1 Number 23
June 7, 2004











TEXT-ONLY VERSION

 


MORE CHARGES FILED AGAINST FORMER ORLANDO INSURANCE AGENT

Investigators are asking for additional victims to come forward

Following charges last July of grand theft and scheme to defraud, an Orlando insurance agent has been arrested a second time for allegedly misappropriating workers’ compensation premiums paid by area businesses. The new charges also stem from the previous investigation.

“Workers’ compensation fraud is a major contributor in the rise of premium costs to small businesses,” said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “We will continue to aggressively investigate instances of fraud and abuse of the workers’ compensation system.”

Investigators with the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud say Beverly Jean Phillips, 62, of 2818 Geoffrey Dr., failed to forward nearly $40,000 in workers’ compensation premiums paid to her by 13 local businesses. Phillips allegedly issued false certificates of coverage to the employers, potentially leaving employees without protection in the event of an on-the-job injury. Phillips was charged with 13 counts of grand theft and one count of scheme to defraud. She was arrested this week and booked into the Orange County jail.

The department is searching for additional victims who may have been defrauded by Phillips. Individuals with information related to this case should call the department’s toll-free insurance fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or the Orlando Field Office at 407-835-4400.

The charges follow Phillip’s arrest last July on similar charges. In September, she pleaded guilty to grand theft and was sentenced to three years of probation and community service. The department subsequently revoked her insurance license.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation. Anyone with information about this case or other possible insurance fraud activity should call the department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.