A Pensacola insurance agent was charged with wire transfer fraud over his alleged plan to pay his customers’ insurance premiums for himself.
John Michael Thomas, 51, appeared in a federal court hearing presided over by Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason R. Coody. In a federal criminal complaint filed on March 12, 2021, Thomas was accused of selling fraudulent insurance policies for approximately $ 4 million in insurance premiums through his agency, Thomas Insurance, LLC.
According to the lawsuit, Thomas is said to have defrauded customers from September 2013 to December 2020 through a type of insurance fraud called “Premium Diversion”. Thomas took insurance premiums from customers but kept the money for his personal use rather than creating insurance policies, the lawsuit says. In order to hide his ruse, Thomas allegedly gave his customers fraudulent documents referring to insurance policies that did not exist.
Thomas was finally arrested on April 1, 2021. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud.
A US Attorney’s publication for the Northern District of Florida said an investigation is ongoing to ensure that all suspected victims are identified by Thomas. The bureau has advised anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Thomas to contact the local FBI office.