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Palm Harbor Agent Surrenders License

5/1/2003

CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

PALM HARBOR - A Palm Harbor man has surrendered his insurance licenses after allegedly falsely obtaining and misappropriating insurance premiums from St. Petersburg Junior College for more than seven years.

Following an Administrative Complaint filed by the Department of Financial Services, Thomas Edward Pollock, of 31127 U.S. Highway 19 North, voluntarily surrendered his insurance licenses. The agreement reached last month is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Agent and Agency Investigation, alleging that Pollock, 50, pocketed nearly $119,000 in premiums paid by St. Petersburg Junior College after he canceled one of the school's insurance policies without administrators' knowledge. Investigators say Pollock canceled the insurance plan in 1993 but continued collecting premiums for the plan until 2001.

Pollock has been a licensed as a life and health agent since 1987. He has been licensed to sell variable annuities since 1988.

In addition to the administrative action, Pollock was convicted in March of grand theft and the sale of unlicensed insurance, because he accepted the risk of paying any claims that may have been filed after he let the policy lapse. He was placed on three years probation and ordered to pay $40,000 to a victim's restitution fund. He was also ordered to pay another $15,000 in fines, court and investigative costs.

Consumers are advised to obtain and safeguard policy documents as proof of coverage. In addition, consumers should never make checks payable to their insurance agent but rather to the insurance company. Questions about agents or insurance policies may be directed to the Department of Financial Services' toll-free helpline at 1-800-342-2762.