ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Ida Bernadette Newsome of St. Petersburg for allegedly acting as an insurance agent without a license and grand theft.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “As financial schemes continue to rise in Florida, I am committed to holding those looking to prey on Floridians, and especially our seniors, accountable and providing tools and resources so Floridians can spot fraud before it happens. Impersonating an insurance agent and selling fraudulent insurance policies to scam hardworking families is appalling. I am thankful for the dedication of my fraud detectives to seek justice in this case. If you feel you have been the victim of insurance fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
An investigation conducted by CFO Patronis’ Bureau of Insurance Fraud detectives revealed that Ida Bernadette Newsome allegedly acted as an auto insurance agent without an active, valid state of Florida license. Newsome advertised herself on Facebook as a licensed insurance agent and quoted the victims a price of $350 for full coverage on any vehicle. Once the price was agreed upon, she would instruct the victims to text her their personal and vehicle information to her phone. After Newsome received their information, she directed them to send $350 to her Cash App via her cellphone number.
Newsome was arrested on January 27, 2021, and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. She is charged with acting as an insurance adjuster without a license and grand theft. If convicted, she faces up to 5 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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