Rick Anthony Stephens, a Coral Springs, Florida insurance agent, was arrested Wednesday after authorities accused him of falsifying insurance applications using stolen identities, which allowed him to collect over $16,000 in fraudulent commissions, news sources indicate. Stephen, 46, was booked into Broward County Main Jail on charges of insurance fraud, criminal use of personal identity information, and grand theft. His bail bond was set at $8,500. It is not yet known whether he has hired a lawyer.
Reports say Stephens worked as an insurance agent at the Coral Springs-based insurance company Advantage Agents Alliance. One of his purported duties was filing out insurance forms for clients and submitting them to insurance companies. He received commission for each client he signed up for insurance, reports say.
Sometime during late 2010, detectives say Stephens filed 28 insurance forms and sent them to Colorado Bankers Life Insurance. Detectives allege that Stephens used personal information from victims, including Social Security numbers, names, and signatures, to fill out the forms. The victims had never agreed to sign up for insurance. It is not clear where Stephens got the personal information, nor is it known whether detectives suspect that an accomplice was involved in the theft and acquisition of this information.
After allegedly sending the fraudulent forms, Stephens collected a reported $16,965 in commission. Sources say he transferred the funds to his personal bank account. A representative from the company learned of the fraud and filed a complaint against Stephens, who reportedly claimed that he would refund the insurance company the money he earned in commission for the fraudulent forms. However, reports say that he never did return the funds.
In other news, Louis Thersono of Boynton Beach, Florida was arrested Wednesday for allegedly leaving his young child in the back of a car unattended for 15 minutes, reports indicate. Thersono, 43, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on one charge of child neglect. His bail was set at $3,000. It is unclear whether he has hired legal representation.
According to reports, the incident occurred in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart of the 4500 block of Hypoluxo Road in Lake Worth. A woman pulled into the lot and noticed the young boy in a Chrysler Sebring. The woman noted that a window of the car had been cracked a few inches. She approached the child, who reports say is around 5 years old, and tried to speak with him; however, the boy did not answer her. The woman then called police.
Shortly after, Thersono emerged from the store and spoke with the responding officers. He reportedly told the detectives that he had taken the child in the store with him but returned him to the car when he started to misbehave. He said he only left the boy, who reports say may be autistic, alone in the car for around 15 minutes. Reports did not indicate whether the child was placed in the custody of the state or another family member following Thersono’s arrest.