Volume 3 Number 20
May 15, 2006

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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.