'BOGUS BINDERS’ LEADS TO 28 ARRESTS IN FAKE INSURANCE CARD SCHEME
Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, announced that a
multi-agency operation called “Bogus Binders” has led to the arrests of 28
individuals for manufacturing, selling, or buying fraudulent insurance
binders and insurance identification cards. Most of the arrests involved
dump truck owners and operators, but it is also suspected that these fake
insurance cards were also sold to private vehicle owners.
“If one of these uninsured drivers had injured someone, it could have
resulted in financial devastation for the innocent victim,” said Florida’s
Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of
Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. “I commend the law
enforcement officers who uncovered this fraud and worked to quickly bring
those involved to justice.”
The agencies involved included the Department of Financial Services,
Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF); the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office;
the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD); the Florida Department of
Transportation, Motor Carrier Compliance Office; and the United States
Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.
In December 2005, the MDPD Organized Crime Section received information that
an individual by the name of Roberto Dominguez was providing fraudulent
motor vehicle certificates of liability insurance for $1 million and
insurance identification cards to owners of dump trucks in Miami-Dade
County. Dominguez allegedly sold fraudulent $1 million liability
certificates for $300, when actual certificates of liability for $1 million
normally range in price from $8,000 to $10,000.
Dominguez has never been a licensed insurance agent in the state of Florida
and was arrested in 2003 and 2005 by DIF for similar violations. Dominguez
was arrested again and charged with 110 counts of fraud, uttering a forged
instrument and transacting insurance without a certificate.
On June 15, 2005, DIF conducted an investigation of an insurance agency
known as “Insurance Express,” which was determined to be a phony insurance
agency in Miami owned and operated by Rosa and Peter Bajdor. This
investigation revealed that the Bajdors were writing and selling numerous
fraudulent certificates of liability insurance binders listing Canal
Insurance Company and Lincoln General Insurance Company as the insuring
companies. Canal Insurance Company and Lincoln General Insurance Company are
legitimate insurance companies, but company representatives advised that the
liability insurance certificates issued by the Bajdors were fraudulent.
Rosa and Peter Bajdor were arrested on July 25, 2005, but failed to appear
for court and are currently considered fugitives.
In March and April, “Operation Bogus Binders” was initiated to identify
owners of dump trucks in possession of these fraudulent insurance
identification cards. The investigation identified 25 individuals who
presented false and fraudulent cards to law enforcement officers during
routine traffic investigations.