Miami Insurance Agent Accused of $14 Million in Premium Finance Fraud

October 13, 2009

A Miami insurance agent was arrested for the second time in less than a month for stealing more than $14 million by submitting thousands of fraudulent premium finance contracts for fictitious policyholders, according to state officials.

Florida CFO Alex Sink said that her Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) arrested Jose V. Peris, 52, of Miami, the owner and president of Insurance Force Corp., d/b/a FED USA Insurance Agency.

Officials allege that Peris submitted more thn 3,800 bogus premium finance contracts to numerous premium finance companies. Currently, they said, more than $7 million remains unrecovered and Peris is facing multiple counts of first degree organized scheme to defraud.

Peris was initially arrested on Sept. 18, 2009 by DIF investigators for charges involving theft from a premium finance company. Then on Oct. 8, officials said Peris was arrested for an additional charge of organized fraud in the first degree for actions involving three other premium finance companies. If convicted on all charges, Peris faces up to 60 years in prison.

Sink’s office also ordered a suspension of the insurance licenses held by Peris.

The investigations into Peris and his insurance agency were based on allegations that Peris lied about premium financing contracts for fictitious Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policies. ABCO Premium Finance provided information to investigators that Peris was creating bogus contracts, and in the course of the investigation it was found that other premium finance companies were also defrauded.

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