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Broward County Insurance Agent Charged with Theft

5/10/2004

CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

POMPANO BEACH-An insurance agent is facing criminal charges and loss of his license over charges that he stole premiums from numerous customers, including the Brazilian Missionary Community Church, Corp.

Jerrod Keith Zelanka, 27, owner and primary agent at American Professional Insurance Services, Inc. (AmPro), was arrested today by investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. Zelanka allegedly diverted for his personal use more than $18,000 in insurance premium payments from at least six customers, who never received coverage or refunds. The incidents occurred between December 2000 and February 2003.

AmPro, located at 750 E. Sample Rd. Pompano Beach, offered various insurance products including homeowners, workers' compensation, liability, windstorm and flood coverage.

Zelanka is charged with six counts of grand theft and six counts of failing to report and account for insurance funds. He was booked into the Broward County Jail. The charges are being prosecuted by the Broward County State Attorney's Office. If convicted on all of the charges, Zelanka could be sentenced up five years' in prison per count and would lose his license.

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 a conviction.