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Fort Lauderdale Agent Facing Felony Charge, Loss of License after Hiring Son Banned from Industry

10/29/2003

CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

FORT LAUDERDALE – An insurance agent has lost his license and is facing a felony charge after more than $180,000 allegedly was stolen by his son, a former insurance agent who previously had been banned from the industry for theft of premiums.

The Department of Financial Services has issued an order revoking John Pascale's license and permanently banning him from working in the insurance industry in Florida. Pascale, owner of AAA Turnpike Insurance Agency, surrendered Friday on a charge of one count of diversion or misappropriation of insurance funds, a second-degree felony. The arrest follows an investigation by the department's Division of Agents and Agencies Services and Division of Insurance Fraud. He was booked into the Broward County Jail, with bond set at $1,500.

In July, his son Anthony Michael Pascale was arrested on charges that he stole more than $180,000 from his father's agency, located at 1142 South Federal Highway. Investigators said that from May 2002 through April 2003, Anthony Pascale misappropriated more than 1,200 premium checks paid to his father's insurance agency and deposited the money into a personal account.

The department had banned Anthony Pascale, 32, from the industry in February 2000 after he was convicted for stealing insurance customer's payments. In spite of the ban, investigators said, his father allowed him to work in a back office at the insurance agency almost immediately after the conviction and ban. Investigators believe Anthony Pascale was allowed to work with approximately 40 percent of the agency's customers.

On July 1, 2003, it became a felony for any revoked, suspended, or banned insurance agent to violate such an order.

The Department of Financial Services investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.