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Insurance Agent Charged with Selling Phony Bonds


CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

PLANTATION — An insurance agent is facing up to 75 years in prison on charges that she sold phony performance bonds and misappropriated more than $150,000 in insurance premiums from at least a dozen construction companies.

Jody Young, 42, owner of Young Agency, Inc., formerly located at 9731 SW 11th St., Pembroke Pines, turned herself in this morning to investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. She was booked into the Broward County Jail on charges of organized fraud, diversion or misappropriation of insurance premiums and uttering forged instruments. Bond is set at $35,000.

The fraud division's investigation determined that, from January 2000 through July 2003, Young accepted insurance premiums for performance bonds from at least 12 construction companies and did not forward the premiums to the insurance carriers. The insurance carriers were Cumberland Casualty and Surety Company, XL Surety Insurance Company and Westfield Insurance Company.

In each instance, investigators said, Young received the insurance premiums from the construction companies and either deposited the funds into one of her bank accounts or cashed the checks. Three times Young allegedly forged bond documents and issued performance and payment bonds without the carriers' authorizations. Investigators estimate that Young diverted or misappropriated at least $150,000 in premiums.

Young relocated her business last year to Lake Placid, where she currently resides. If convicted, she faces a statutory maximum of up to 75 years in state prison. The Broward County State Attorney's Office is prosecuting the charges.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, 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 an arrest and conviction.