Florida Insurance Agent Charged with Diverting $4M in Premiums
A Pensacola, Florida insurance agent has bee charged with selling fraudulent insurance policies to his clients in exchange for approximately $4 million in insurance premium payments.
Jason R. Coody, acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the charges Tuesday against John Michael Thomas as Thomas made his initial appearance in federal court in Pensacola on wire fraud charges related to his business, Thomas Insurance, LLC..Thomas was arrested on the criminal complaint in Phoenix, Arizona on April 1.
The criminal complaint alleges that between September 2013 and December 2020, Thomas operated an insurance business and defrauded customers through a type of insurance fraud known as premium diversion. Thomas collected insurance premiums from customers and kept the funds for personal use instead of producing insurance policies, according to the charges. Thomas gave the customers fraudulent documents referencing insurance policies that did not exist.
Officials said the arrest resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI and the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud, and work is ongoing to ensure all alleged victims are identified.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Tharp is prosecuting this case for the Northern District of Florida.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to due process.
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