Fla. Businessman Charged with Theft

September 25, 2003

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced that a former owner and director of Mobile Home Division of America Inc. was charged with felony grand theft in relation to allegations that he misappropriated nearly $1 million in insurance premium funds.

William James Little, 65, surrendered to authorities and was taken to the Broward County Jail. His arrest follows an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. The Broward County State Attorney’s Office will prosecute the first-degree felony charge. If convicted, Little faces up to 30 years in prison.

“When businesses lose money to fraud, we all pay for it through higher costs for goods and services and sometimes, unfortunately, with lost jobs and livelihoods,” Gallagher said. “The allegations in this case are serious, and the charge reflects that.”

MHD, formerly located at 2701 NW 62nd St., Fort Lauderdale, entered into third-party administrative agreements with various insurance carriers to collect premiums for property and casualty business insurance and, in some cases, to handle claims processing and payment.

In early 1999, MHD began to pay its own business operating expenses and the claims and expenses of State National Insurance Company Inc., from premium funds collected for Accredited Surety and Casualty Company Inc. By December 1999, MHD was more than $5 million in debt to Accredited and other insurance companies. Investigators determined that more than $987,000 collected from Accredited was diverted to pay other expenses.

Little was the only owner, or director, reportedly with signature authority on the accounts from which the funds were taken.

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