Two South Florida insurance officers are now in jail, following a lengthy insurance fraud investigation. Luis M. Espinosa, 60, and Rene M. Cambert, 55, were arrested on eight first-degree felony counts each, including filing false or misleading financial statements, on behalf of First Commercial Insurance Company and its affiliated companies, First Commercial Transportation and Property Insurance Company. Each count carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
Espinosa acted as the president and CEO of the companies, while Cambert acted as the vice president and chief operating officer. The companies were liquidated in August 2009, only one month after being placed into receivership and investigated by the Division of Insurance Fraud.
More information was found in a press release from Florida CFO and current gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink‘s office:
Three DFS divisions, the Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), Division of Agent and Agency Services (A&A), and Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation (DRL) in cooperation with the Office of Insurance Regulation worked on this case resulting in the arrest of the two FCIC officers for filing false and misleading reports of the companies’ financial condition. The arrests occurred after the Division of Insurance Fraud’s Major Case Squad was able to prove regulatory reporting documents signed by both Espinosa and Cambert were fraudulent, including quarterly statements declaring the companies were maintaining the minimum capital and surplus of $4 million required to meet Florida’s statutory obligations as an insurance provider. The investigation revealed that numerous documents filed indicated that the companies had more reserve assets than they actually possessed. These findings confirmed that Espinosa and Cambert knowingly signed fraudulent notarized documents, and that both knew the requirements of law regarding their companies’ assets. It was discovered that the worthless cash assets, totaling more than $10 million, impaired the capital of both companies.