TALLAHASSEE, FL – September 9, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Florida CFO Alex Sink announced today the culmination of an extensive insurance fraud investigation with the arrest of Luis M. Espinosa, 60, and Rene M. Cambert, 55, on eight first degree felony counts each for filing false or misleading financial statements for First Commercial Insurance Company (FCIC) and its affiliated company, First Commercial Transportation and Property Insurance Company (FCTPIC) with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). Espinosa was the president and CEO and Cambert was the vice president and chief operating officer of FCIC/ FCTPIC at the time the companies were ordered into receivership for liquidation in 2009. Each felony count carries a potential 30-year sentence.
Three DFS divisions, the Division of Insurance Fraud, Division of Agent and Agency Services and Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation in cooperation with the Office of Insurance Regulation worked on this case resulting in the arrests 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.
In July 2009, FCIC/FCTPIC were ordered into receivership for the purpose of rehabilitation and subsequently liquidated in August. After the companies were placed in receivership, the Division of Insurance Fraud opened a criminal investigation based on the questionable financial reports sent to OIR by Espinosa and Cambert. Further investigation of bank records confirmed some documents were falsified.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services and serves as the State Fire Marshal. A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida’s CFO. As CFO, Sink’s priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government’s contracting practices.
Jerri Franz or Jennifer Hirst, 850-413-2842