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Broward Agent Arrested for Mishandling Premium Funds

4/23/2002

TALLAHASSEE—Florida Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher today announced the arrest of a Broward agent for allegedly mishandling premium funds.

Investigators say Frank Robert Cavaliere, 38, former owner and president of BL Panther Insurance, Inc., 1280 SW 26th Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, failed to forward consumers' premiums to more than half a dozen of the appropriate insurance companies. The companies included Bankers Insurance Group, Interstate Fire & Casualty, American Superior, Century Surety and Preferred National Insurance Company. Cavaliere sold auto and homeowners insurance.

Cavaliere diverted or misappropriated funds from 22 consumers, totaling more than $40,000. He has been charged with 25 counts of grand theft, 25 counts of misappropriated insurance premiums, 11 counts of false entries into the books of the corporation, and one count of organized fraud, all felonies.

An administrative complaint has also been filed against Cavaliere by the Department of Insurance, seeking the revocation of his license.

The Department of Insurance, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about these cases or another possible fraud scheme 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.