AGENT SURRENDERS INSURANCE
Earlier this year, the department
filed a nine-count administrative complaint against Michael Harris Lait, 45,
of 11449 Lake Butler Blvd. The department alleged that Lait misrepresented
the terms and conditions of life insurance policies to at least one customer
and he convinced at least one individual to “cash in” or surrender existing
annuity contracts and to replace them causing the customer to pay
unnecessary surrender penalties; the practice is known as “churning” or
After first requesting a formal hearing to dispute the department’s charges, Lait this month surrendered all of his insurance licenses. In addition to the revocation of his insurance licenses, the department permanently removed and barred Lait from ever again participating in the business of insurance. He had been licensed as a life, life & health and a health agent since November 1981.
In addition to the administrative charges, the department’s Division of Insurance Fraud arrested Lait, d/b/a Harris Financial Services, on August 23, and charged him with elder exploitation, scheme to defraud, and fraudulent reporting and accounting of funds for a total of more than $200,000 in consumer funds. Lait faces up to 30 years in prison for each of these felony charges.
The Department of Financial Services investigates allegations of improper conduct by licensed agents and those posing as agents. Questions about agents or insurance policies may be directed to the department’s toll-free helpline at 1-800-342-2762.
The skyline for December is downtown
Gainesville, featuring the Hippodrome Theater, originally the post office.