Orlando Agent Pleads No Contest to Fraud

February 6, 2004

An Orlando, Florida insurance agent has pleaded no contest to organized fraud and unlawful sale of insurance for soliciting doctors to buy bogus medical malpractice coverage.

Michael Rock, 34, was arrested on the charges in November 2002 by investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. Last week, Rock entered a plea in Orange County Circuit Court. Judge Stan Strickland withheld adjudication and ordered Rock to serve 10 years’ supervised probation and pay restitution of $159,004, in addition to more than $6,000 in investigative, prosecution and court costs.

According to state insurance fraud investigators, Rock solicited nearly 10,000 doctors’ offices to purchase medical malpractice insurance through an unlicensed New Zealand-based company called Embassy Bonding and Surety, Ltd. Several doctors paid premiums to Rock.

“These unlicensed entities are preying on physicians who may be having difficulty obtaining medical malpractice insurance,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “Unlicensed insurance poses a grave and immediate risk of financial harm to doctors, and potentially their patients.”

Rock was reportedly the primary Florida promoter for Embassy Bonding. According to officials, Embassy never applied for a certificate of authority to transact insurance in Florida, and the insurance products sold by Rock were worthless.

Gallagher issued an Immediate Final Order in August 2002 shutting down Rock and Embassy’s operations.

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