In early April, Inweekly broke the story that local insurance agent, John Michael Thomas, had been arrested in Arizona for alleged wire fraud charges related to his business, Thomas Insurance, LLC – “Country Club set victims of insurance fraud”.
Yesterday, Thomas, 51, made his initial appearance in federal court in Pensacola. DOJ gave more details on the case and asked for public to come forward if they believed they were swindled.
DOJ Press Release:
A federal criminal complaint was filed on March 12, 2021, charging Thomas with selling fraudulent insurance policies to his clients in exchange for approximately $4 million in insurance premium payments. On April 1, 2021, Thomas was arrested on the criminal complaint in Phoenix, Arizona, and was transported to Pensacola by the United States Marshal’s Service for today’s hearing. Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the charges today after Thomas made his initial appearance in federal court in Pensacola.
The criminal complaint alleges between September 2013 and December 2020, John Thomas operated an insurance business known as Thomas Insurance, LLC, and defrauded customers through a type of insurance fraud known as premium diversion. Thomas executed this scheme by collecting insurance premiums from customers and keeping the funds for personal use instead of producing insurance policies. Thomas gave the customers fraudulent documents referencing insurance policies that did not exist.
This arrest resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI and the Florida Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud, and work is ongoing to ensure all alleged victims are identified. If you are a client of Thomas Insurance, LLC and wish to speak to an investigating agent regarding your policy, please contact FBI Jacksonville at (904) 248-7000 or email FLinsurancefraud@fbi.gov, and reference “Thomas Insurance.” An FBI representative will respond with additional instructions.
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Tharp is prosecuting this case for the Northern District of Florida.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation by a sworn affiant that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to due process, to include a fair trial, during which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.