The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud has announced the arrest of Mandy Rodriguez, 35, on felony fraud and grand theft charges after an investigation revealed that Rodriguez, a licensed insurance agent, allegedly stole more than $80,000 in premium funds from four of his clients. In an effort to conceal that he was pocketing the money intended to pay the premiums on policies his clients thought were valid, Rodriguez created fake proof of insurance documents and gave them to his clients, DIF said in a statement.
Rodriguez’ clients reportedly believed they were paying for legitimate commercial or homeowners’ insurance policies from Citizens Property Insurance Co., but Citizens verified that none of the policies ever existed. Rodriguez allegedly instructed his clients to write their premium checks to his company, Risk Management Agency Group, rather than to Citizens directly. Bank records show that the victims’ checks were deposited into his company’s account for personal use.
Detectives obtained a statement from Rodriguez acknowledging the creation of the fraudulent insurance documents as well as the deposit of the insurance premium money into his personal company’s bank account. Once able to verify that the consumers had been duped, Citizens and Rodriguez’s employer, Bentrust Insurance Group, worked together to secure proper insurance coverage that was paid up-to-date.
Mandy Rodriguez was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and is being charged with one count of Unlawfully Diverting Insurance Funds, one count of Scheme to Defraud, five counts of Insurance Fraud, 29 counts of Grand Theft, 5 counts of Forgery, and 5 counts of Uttering a Forged Instrument. The case is being prosecuted by the office of Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. The Department’s Division of Agent and Agency Services, which licenses insurance agents in Florida, also coordinated in the investigation and aims to take administrative action against Rodriguez’s insurance license, DIF said.
Source: Florida Division of Insurance Fraud
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