Carmelo Zanfei and William Paul Crouse, accused by Florida’s Department of Financial Services of allegedly bilking more than 7,000 Floridians for more than $2.5 million in unpaid insurance bills, have pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering and unlawful transaction of insurance. Formal sentencing of both defendants will be held in approximately 120 days before Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Julie H. O’Kane in Orlando.
According to Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, Zanfei and Crouse were apprehended when DFS determined that the firm they headed, TRG Marketing, had a self-insured plan that was under-funded and failed to pay millions of dollars in medical claims.
Crist said the terms of their plea agreements require them to pay full restitution to their victims amounting to at least $2.5 million. After they serve their terms they will be under 20 years of supervised probation.
Crouse pleaded guilty to racketeering and four counts of unlawful transaction of insurance and will serve four years in prison.
Zanfei pleaded guilty of conspiracy to commit racketeering and four counts of unlawful transaction of insurance. According to Crist he will serve two years in prison.
Zanfei and Crouse marketed the plan in 44 states, though Florida was the only state that pursued criminal charges, Crist said.
“Scams like this drive up the cost of legitimate health insurance, and consumers are left to carry the burden,” Crist said.
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