Attorney General Charlie Crist has announced that two individuals have received prison sentences for their roles in an insurance scam. William Paul Crouse and Carmelo Zanfei – the principals of TRG Marketing, LLC – were sentenced for selling unauthorized health plans to more than 7,000 Floridians, resulting in millions of dollars of unpaid claims.
Crouse and Zanfei marketed a self-insured health plan to citizens of Florida and 43 other states without seeking a certificate of authority to sell the plan. They claimed that the plan was exempt from the licensing and certification requirements of state law. Investigators determined the health plan was insufficiently funded and the company failed to pay millions of dollars in claims. The affected Floridians could receive more than $3 million in restitution, ranging from $200 to $200,000 per victim.
The trial was the culmination of a massive four-year investigation launched by the Florida Attorney General’s office after Central Florida participants reported TRG took their payments, but failed to pay claims.
“This scam preyed on unsuspecting people who were simply looking for a way to protect themselves with a health plan,” Crist said. “These crooks not only robbed their victims of that security, but also their hard earned money. This sentence sends the clear message that we will continue to work to put an end to these fraudulent practices, and to get the victims their money back.”
Crouse pled guilty to racketeering and four counts of unlawful transaction of insurance on June 10, 2005 and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Zanfei pled guilty to conspiracy to commit racketeering and four counts of unlawful transaction of insurance on June 10, 2005, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Both defendants were also sentenced to 20 years of supervised probation with special conditions that they make restitution to more than 7,000 Floridians, after they are released from prison. The restitution is expected to be more than $3 million and could increase if more victims come forward, however the full amount will not be known until the restitution hearing takes place on Dec. 9, 2005.
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