MyFloridaCFO.cmom, November 1, 2023
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Florida insurance agent Naser Al-Sweity, who allegedly misappropriated more than $131,000 in premium funds from several insurance consumers, resulting in the cancellation of coverage and leaving one policyholder on the hook for $1 million in repairs following Hurricane Ian.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Insurance agents are supposed to be trusted arbiters between the insured and their insurance company. Agents who take advantage of their clients’ trust not only deserve to lose their license but deserve to sit behind the cold bars of a jail cell for a long time. Huge thanks to our DIFS fraud investigators and our Agent and Agency Services investigators for working on this case and ensuring bad actors like this are brought to justice. Thank you to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case and holding this fraudster accountable.”
During their deployment to Southwest Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, detectives from the CFO’s Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) were approached by an insurance consumer who, after attempting to file an insurance claim on his commercial property damaged by Hurricane Ian, discovered the property had no coverage even though he paid his premiums in full. An investigation revealed the consumer wrote a check in November 2021 in the amount of $26,000 for property and flood insurance for his multi-unit apartment complex in Charlotte County. The check was made payable to Florida P&C Insurance Agency located in Boca Raton and owned by Naser Al-Sweity, a Florida licensed property-casualty insurance agent. While filing his insurance claim, the complainant discovered he did not have coverage on October 4, 2022, due to his policy being canceled for nonpayment of premiums.
DIFS initiated an investigation revealing that over a period of approximately two years, Al-Sweity received annual insurance premium payments from seven different customers. Al-Sweity then financed each customer's premiums through a premium finance agreement without their knowledge or approval resulting in more than $131,000 of misappropriated premium funds. Al-Sweity never made payments on the policies, which led to all seven customers losing insurance coverage. In total, Naser Al-Sweity pocketed more than $131,000 in insurance premiums.
On October 30, 2023, Naser Al-Sweity was arrested and booked into Palm Beach Jail on charges including Organized Scheme to Defraud, Misappropriation of Insurance Funds, and Fraudulent Use of Personal ID information. If convicted on all charges, Naser Al-Sweity faces up to 30 years in prison. This case was investigated in cooperation with the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office and the Ft. Myers DFS Agent & Agency Services Division.