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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest in Miami Insurance Fraud Scheme

2/5/2024
For Immediate Release: Monday, February 5, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest in Miami Insurance Fraud Scheme

MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of William Diehl for allegedly impersonating an insurance agent and defrauding consumers purchasing auto insurance. Diehl, while not licensed as an insurance agent, sold multiple fraudulent and non-existing automobile insurance policies to several unsuspecting victims, many of whom may still be unaware they are driving without auto insurance. In total, Diehl allegedly defrauded consumers of more than $29,000.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Fraudsters will go to incredible lengths to scam you out of your hard-earned money. As your CFO, I have prioritized bringing bad actors who thrive off the deceit of innocent Floridians to justice, and I’m grateful for the exceptional work conducted by our fraud investigators in placing this crook behind bars. Floridians must stay on guard for fraud by researching and working with reputable and licensed insurance professionals to avoid being defrauded. If you, your family, or friends are suspicious of fraud, please report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”

A complaint was received in December 2023, from the owner of Douglas Auto Sales, a Miami car dealership where Diehl presented himself as an insurance agent to deceive unsuspecting victims into giving him money for bogus auto insurance policies. Investigations revealed customers that needed insurance after the purchase of a vehicle at the dealership contacted Diehl who purported to be an insurance agent and could assist in obtaining automobile insurance. It was learned after a customer bought auto insurance from Diehl and was involved in a motor vehicle accident, that there was no insurance coverage. As a result, the dealership followed up with a fraud referral to DIFS. The investigation identified seven additional auto buyers between September 2023 and December 2023, who also unbeknown to them, purchased bogus auto insurance from Diehl. The victims provided statements where they said they were instructed by Diehl to make insurance premium payments via Zelle and Cash app. These victims learned the policy they purchased was bogus which left them uninsured. Some victims also had their driver licenses suspended for not having auto insurance.

William Diehl surrendered to police and was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on charges including Acting as an Insurance Agent without a License, Organized Scheme to Defraud, Unlawful Use of Communications Device, and Grand Theft. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is handling the prosecution of this case. If convicted on all charges, Diehl could face up to 30 years in prison.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and X (@FLDFS).