Florida Agency Owner Arrested Over $62K Premium Fraud Scheme

An insurance agency owner in Florida has been arrested after he admitted to stealing more than $60,000 in insurance premiums, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Michael Christopher Hensley, owner BOSC Insurance Company and Hensley Insurance Company, admitted to stealing $61,954 in insurance premiums between 2011 and 2018 in Orange County, Fla.

The theft was discovered after an investigation by the DFS Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) revealed that Hensley had solicited various commercial businesses to procure property and casualty insurance under both of his companies BOSC and Hensley Insurance. Hensley has had no active appointments on his license since 2010, making his licensed expired as of 2014 and unlicensed as of March 9, 2015.

After the impacts of Hurricane Irma, a commercial business property sustained extensive damage caused from the storm. The business owner attempted to contact his insurance agent, Hensley, for guidance on the claim process. After multiple calls and no response from Hensley, the owner contacted the listed insurance carrier on the Certificates of Insurance that Hensley had been providing the business with annually since 2012. An insurance representative with the listed company informed that the business was not insured with them nor had he ever been insured with the insurance company. Upon this revelation, the owner of the business contacted the CFO’s Orlando Field Office for assistance.

As a result of the DFS investigation, Hensley admitted to collecting monthly insurance premiums payments from nine different commercial business and providing them with false Certificates of Insurance coverage. Hensley went to various insurance company’s websites and made copies of their general liability policies. He would then take the companies information and transfer it to Certificates of Insurance and provide the fraudulent documents to the unsuspecting businesses as proof of insurance. Hensley further admitted to using the money that he obtained from the victim businesses for his own personal benefits.

Hensley was arrested April 6, 2018 by the Lake Mary Police Department and was booked into the Seminole County Jail on the counts of organized scheme to defraud and communications fraud, grand theft, misappropriation of insurance premium funds, unlicensed activity-MSB.

This case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney, 9th Judicial Circuit. Hensley could face up to 30 years in prison.

DFS said its investigators believe Hensley may have defrauded additional victims and encourage members of the community who have purchased property and casualty insurance from Michael Christopher Hensley, BOSC Insurance Company or Hensley Insurance Company to contact the Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Fraud Hotline by calling 1-800-378-0445.

The Department’s anti-fraud strike team consists of three teams that are working in areas heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma including South Florida, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties; Southwest Florida, including Lee and Collier counties; and Central Florida, including Polk and Orange counties. They are trained insurance fraud investigators with specialized knowledge of property & casualty fraud and workers’ compensation fraud.

 

Article From:- https://www.insurancejournal.com

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