A Florida insurance agent has been arrested after allegedly submitting a fraudulent insurance policy to Citizens Property Insurance Corp., according to a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis and the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).
Richard Joseph Girard, a licensed insurance agent and owner of A-Rated Insurance Group, allegedly submitted a policy application for property insurance for a Key Largo client but provided fictitious supporting documentation that falsified the age of the roof of the property.
As a result, Citizens accepted the application, initiated a policy and Girard received commission on the successful insurance sale.
Following the acceptance of the insurance application, DFS said Citizens suspected the application submitted by Girard may have been fraudulent and referred the matter to investigators with DFS’ Bureau of Insurance Fraud.
As a result of the investigation, DFS investigators confirmed Girard submitted an inspection report and policy application for a property located in Key Largo, Fla October 2016. However, in order for the policy to be accepted and to receive his commission, Girard used older photos and an older inspection report from a previous property on the new application form. By doing so, Girard concealed the actual condition of the property’s roof and structure, allowing him to obtain the insurance policy and receive a commission of $1,528.
Girard was arrested and booked into Plantation Key Detention Center without incident on Nov. 13, 2017, and has been charged with insurance fraud, uttering forged instruments, forgery and grand theft.
This case will be prosecuted by the Monroe County State Attorney’s Office and if convicted, Girard could face up to 20 years in prison.
Once formal charges have been brought forth, DFS’ Division of Insurance Agents and Agency Services will suspend Girard’s insurance license.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services