PENSACOLA, Florida –John Thomas, 52, of Pensacola was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering charges related to selling fraudulent insurance policies. In addition to his prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $8,340,153.34 in restitution.
Between September 2013 and February 2021, Thomas operated an insurance business known as Thomas Insurance, LLC. and defrauded customers of over $4.8 million in insurance premium payments 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. To conceal his acts, Thomas gave the customers fraudulent documents referencing insurance policies that did not exist.
“The victims in this case suffered significant loss and pain as a result of this deception, never knowing they were without insurance coverage until disaster struck,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.
Florida CFO Jimmy Patronus said, “Insurance fraud is a serious crime that causes rates to go up for every hard-working family and business owner in Florida.”