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Department Files More Charges against Miami Agent

12/2/2002

MIAMI -- Department of Insurance fraud investigators have charged Phillip J. Sammario, 48, of P.J. Insurance Agency in Homestead, with dozens of criminal charges following an earlier arrest in October. Sammario surrendered today to investigators with the department's Division of Insurance Fraud.

Sammario is charged with 63 counts of grand theft and 12 counts of uttering a forged instrument after an investigation revealed that Sammario may have kept more than $76,000 in insurance premiums paid by consumers since December 2001. Sammario is also accused of issuing at least 12 fraudulent certificates of insurance coverage.

Sammario was booked into the Miami-Dade County jail. If convicted of all charges, Sammario could face up to five years in prison on each count.

Consumers who purchased insurance from Sammario or P.J. Insurance Agency are urged to contact their insurance company to verify that they are covered. The department's toll-free consumer helpline, 1-800-342-2762, is also available to assist consumers.

Today's arrest is Sammario's third by state fraud investigators. In October, Sammario was charged with selling insurance without a license and forging insurance documents. Earlier this year, Sammario was arrested for allegedly selling insurance without placing coverage. These charges are currently pending in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.