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Former Insurance Agent Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Stealing $100K+ from Elderly Clients

3/28/2017

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2017
 
Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413–2842
 
ORLANDO, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the recent conviction of former Florida insurance agent Vinodh Raghubir, who was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from two elderly clients.
 
In late 2015, employees with one of the client’s financial institutions, Fairwinds Credit Union, noticed that their client had written a large check to pay a life insurance premium. However, that check was written to a contracted insurance agent instead of directly to the insurance company, which is standard procedure. Concerned, the credit union staff immediately reported their suspicions to AmeriLife Group, the company that managed the insurance agent.
 
Knowing that the Department of Financial Services specializes in investigating insurance fraud, AmeriLife Group asked the Department’s insurance fraud division to launch an investigation. Their investigation revealed that Raghubir gained the trust of two clients, both over the age of 70, and convinced them to purchase life insurance policies and oil annuities. He prepared the paperwork and collected premium payments, but Raghubir never actually purchased the products. Instead, he took their money and deposited it into his personal account. In total, he collected $123,898.
 
“As a former banker myself, I applaud the keen awareness and good judgement exercised by the Fairwinds Credit Union employees who flagged this transaction,” said CFO Atwater. “Floridians are the eyes and ears of their community, and I am proud that savvy professionals identified this crime so we were able to stop his fraud. Stealing from the elderly will absolutely not be tolerated.”
 
The Orange County State Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. In addition to his four-year sentence, he’s ordered to pay full restitution to his two victims. Following his incarceration, he will serve a 20-year probationary period, during which he will be restricted from working in a sales position or financial field, with the exception of retail, and is forbidden from having unsupervised contact with anyone over the age of 65.
 
In addition, his insurance agent license was revoked by the Department and he has been permanent barred from working in the insurance industry.
 
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Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services, serves as Florida’s State Fire Marshal, and is a member of the Florida Cabinet. 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.