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Former Miami Insurance Representative Arrested for Diverting Premium Funds

8/27/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 – 2842

MIAMI, Fla. – The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of Tania Michel, 41, for failing to notify the Department of Financial Services of a federal fraud conviction, continuing to work in the insurance industry after having her license expire, and knowingly misappropriated premium funds while working at an insurance agency.

For a period of nine months, Michel worked at a North Miami Beach insurance agency with an expired professional license and with an unreported federal felony conviction. By failing to reapply for her license, she was able to further conceal the felony fraud conviction that would cause her to become permanently barred from the insurance industry. She was fired by the insurance agency owners for suspected misappropriation of funds and sought employment at another Miami insurance agency where she continued the same unlawful behavior of diverting, or stealing, clients’ monthly premium payments for personal use.

In 2007, Michel was arrested and later convicted for federal health care fraud and was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution and put on probation for three years. The Department’s Division of Agent and Agency Services, which licenses insurance agents and representatives in Florida, also coordinated in the investigation and has revoked Michel’s insurance license. She is now permanently barred from the insurance industry in Florida.

She surrendered to DIF detectives and was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center facing multiple charges including the diversion of funds, transacting insurance without a license, and for failing to notify the Department of a criminal conviction. The case will be prosecuted by the office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).