AGENTS CHARGED WITH ISSUING FAKE INSURANCE CERTIFICATES
Two Orlando agents are facing numerous felony charges for allegedly issuing fraudulent workers’ compensation certificates to employers who needed them to apply for business licenses.
Marcia V. Richardson, 40, and Eilean Webb, 45, both of Orlando, were arrested Tuesday on charges of uttering a forged instrument. Richardson, the former owner of Hamilton Insurance Agency at 5265 Alhambra Drive, is charged with 15 counts. Webb, who currently operates E. W. & Associates of Central Florida at 6905 W. Colonial Drive, is charged with five counts.
“These agents put injured workers at risk of having no coverage to pay for medical care,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services. “If convicted, they deserve the maximum penalty under the law.”
The department’s Division of Insurance Fraud conducted the investigation and made the arrests. The women face up to five years in prison on each count.
Between November 2002 and January 2003, Richardson issued 15 certificates of insurance, which investigators said contained fraudulent policy limits, incorrect additional insureds, or erroneous addresses. Investigators said Webb issued five fraudulent certificates from March 2003 and July 2003.
The consumers, unaware that they didn’t actually have coverage, presented the fraudulent certificates to the City of Orlando/Vehicle for Hire Section, Greater Orlando Aviation, and Osceola County Board of County Commissioners to obtain permits to operate their businesses. The certificates alleged to provide coverage amounts between $25,000 and $1 million.
Richardson voluntarily surrendered her insurance license in February 2003, and Webb is facing possible administrative action against her agent 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. To report information about a possible insurance fraud scheme, call the department’s fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.