By Staff Writer

PENSACOLA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Florida man made his initial appearance on Monday, June 7, on wire fraud charges related to his business, Thomas Insurance, LLC.

John Michael Thomas, 51, of Pensacola was charged with selling fraudulent insurance policies to his clients in exchange for approximately $4 million in insurance premium payments after a federal complaint was filed on March 12, 2021.

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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.

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According to records, 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.

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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.