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Three arrested in Tampa insurance scam | Crime

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Three arrested in Tampa insurance scam
Crime, News, People
Three arrested in Tampa insurance scam

Tampa, FL -- Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today, June 27 three arrests in a Tampa insurance fraud case involving the theft of thousands of dollars in auto insurance premiums.  

Bella Jenkins, Torrance Blake and David Ball, employees of Insurance Plus located in Temple Terrace, surrendered to authorities and were charged with insurance fraud and selling insurance without a license. 

In August 2010, the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, began an investigation into Tampa insurance agency Insurance Plus.  The division received complaints that customers were given automobile insurance coverage quotes by phone only to have the price for the coverage increase greatly at the time of purchase.

Many customers paid the additional money and left the agency believing that they had insurance coverage with either Kingsway Amigo or Security National Insurance.  

Customers later learned that they had no coverage, either by getting pulled over for a traffic violation and being told that their license was suspended for not having insurance, or by getting notices from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles advising of the lack of coverage.  Further investigation determined that payments customers made were never sent to Kingsway Amigo or Security National Insurance.  

The victims stated that the owner of the business, Bella Jenkins, a licensed insurance agent, was not present when they went to Insurance Plus in Temple Terrace, but other employees David Ball and Torrance Blake, conducted insurance business with consumers without the required licenses.  

All suspects were booked into Hillsborough County jail and released on bond. If convicted, they each face up to five years in prison per charge.    

Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445.

Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.  The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $250,000 to approximately 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program.

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