A former Miami insurance agent has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $1.7 million in insurance premiums from two insurance premium finance companies, according a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.
Antonio Jesus Zoghbi, owner of Florida Insurance Agency of Miami, is accused of using fraudulent and stolen identities to submit fake premium finance contracts and divert policy funds into his business account.
An investigation referred to the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Investigative and Forensic Services Division by the Agent and Agency Services Division revealed that between 2016 and 2018 Zoghbi allegedly created 91 fictitious insurance policies and premium finance contracts using stolen individuals and corporation names as alleged new policyholders.
Zoghbi wrote over $1.7 million in drafts payable to his company, deposited the money into his agency business account and used it for personal gain, DFS said. He then allegedly submitted the fraudulent insurance premium finance contracts and policy information to the finance companies as new insurance customers to justify the draft payments to his agency.
Zoghbi was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) on June 26 on one count of organized scheme to defraud, one count of grand theft, 91 counts of uttering forged instruments, and 38 counts of fraudulent ID theft.
Zoghbi’s insurance license was revoked on Nov. 15, 2018. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s Office. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“Millions of dollars in insurance fraud, just like this, gets passed onto every policyholder in Florida in the form of higher insurance rates and premiums,” Patronis said.