CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Former Miami Insurance Agent in $1.7 Million Fraud Scheme
MIAMI – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announces the arrest of former Miami insurance agent Antonio Jesus Zoghbi, owner of Florida Insurance Agency of Miami, for allegedly stealing more than $1.7 million in insurance premiums from two insurance premium finance companies. Zoghbi allegedly used fraudulent and stolen identities to submit fake premium finance contracts and divert policy funds into his business account.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Stealing money from the pockets of hard-working Floridians to use for your own personal gain is truly despicable. 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. Florida currently ranks first in fraud nationwide, so my office is committed to cracking down on these con artists and bringing them to justice.”
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “I thank CFO Patronis and his dedicated fraud detectives for their great investigative work on this case. My office is committed to prosecuting any individual who commits fraud to the full extent of the law. Scam artists and fraudsters who prey on Floridians and businesses will not be tolerated.”
An investigation referred to CFO Patronis’ Investigative and Forensic Services Division by his Agent and Agency Services Division revealed that between 2016 and 2018 former insurance agent Antonio Jesus 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. 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 Zoghbi’s insurance license was revoked on November 15, 2018.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.