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Agent Arrested on Charges of Forgery, Theft and Exploiting an Elderly Person

12/12/2002

PUNTA GORDA - Department of Insurance fraud investigators arrested insurance agent Alton Michael Haynes III on Tuesday charging him with six felony offenses. Haynes, 55, is charged with misappropriation of insurance funds, grand theft, security interest fraud, exploiting an elderly person, forgery and uttering a forged instrument.

The fraud investigation was based on a complaint received by department's Bureau of Agent and Agency Investigations. Investigators allege that Haynes, who last reported his address as 1416 Park Beach Circle, stole nearly $46,000 in insurance benefits from an 83-year-old Port Charlotte resident. Haynes was the woman's insurance agent.

The benefits were derived from her late husband's life insurance policies. The victim's husband died in May 2001. The policy was to be paid to the woman upon her husband's death. Instead, Haynes allegedly forged her name as the endorsement on the checks and deposited the funds into his own account.

Haynes was booked into the Charlotte County Jail.

The department licensed Haynes to sell life insurance in 1992. He was licensed to sell life and health insurance in 2000. If convicted, he could face disciplinary action against his license.

The Department of Insurance, 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 fraud 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.