Five Tampa Bay residents have been arrested for organizing an unlicensed insurance business with the intent to defraud customers. They were booked into Pinellas County Jail.
The individuals arrested according to a statement from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Office are:
- John Acton Lewis, 51, of Clearwater
- Otto Biltres, 41, of Tampa
- Charles Brown, 38, of Tarpon Springs
- Kelly Bree Brown, 34, of Tarpon Springs
- Joseph T. Jordan, 50, of Palm Harbor
Investigators revealed that Biltres, owner of a temporary staffing agency called Preferred Staffing of America Inc., mislead consumers into believing his company was licensed to provide insurance coverage to client companies. Biltres charged client companies over $130,000 for services and workers’ compensation insurance that was never provided.
Charles Brown is accused of assisting Biltres in the insurance fraud scheme by falsifying certificates of insurance. Kelly Brown, John Lewis, and Joseph Jordan are accused of referring clients to Biltres’ company for a commission fee. Lewis and Jordan were unlicensed insurance agents.
All five members of this scheme face maximum sentences of up to 30 years in prison if they are convicted.
The investigation of this case was led by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.