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Former Aries Principal Arrested Again on Theft Charge

1/6/2006

CONTACT:  Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842 
 
TALLAHASSEE—A former principal of the now-defunct Miami-based Aries Insurance Company, still facing charges of racketeering and fraud stemming from that company's financial collapse, has been arrested on a new charge of grand theft for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 in premiums intended to buy insurance policies from an unlicensed insurance company.
 
Saul Fraynd, 41, was arrested Thursday following an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.  Fraud detectives determined that he misappropriated $96,000 in insurance premiums while owner and operator of All Risk Underwriters, LLC, in 2003.
 
"We will leave no stone unturned in our effort to root out those who would take advantage of our citizens," said Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department.  "I applaud our detectives for diligently pursuing every tip and every trail."
 
All Risk, also based in Miami, was operating without a license as administrator for Native Assurance, which offered health, life, and workers' compensation insurance through an interactive website and several affiliates.  The $96,000 was insurance premiums customers paid for insurance policies from Native Assurance, but none of the money collected was forwarded for the purchase of policies.  In June 2003, Fraynd was advised that Native Assurance was an unlicensed entity and that the collected premiums should be returned to the victims.  Less than $4,900 was returned to victims. 
 
Saul Fraynd, his father Marcos, brother Paul and sister Fannie were charged in 2004 with diverting more than $60 million from Aries Insurance Company.  Aries had about 70,000 policyholders when it was ordered into receivership in 2002. Insurance fraud detectives said the Fraynds, all serving as Aries' principles, willfully misrepresented the company's 2001 financial statement to cover up the theft.   As a result, state guaranty funds were required to pay more than $100 million to cover outstanding claims and return premiums to policyholders.  The charges stemming from Aries are still pending. 
 
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. To report suspected insurance fraud, call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
 
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.