For almost four years, two brothers who owned a North Miami Beach insurance company bilked more than $20 million from two different finance companies.
On Thursday, Stuart Starr, 62, was sentenced to nearly eight and half years in federal prison, three years probation and must pay $20,056,054.67 in restitution, a federal judge ruled.
Starr’s brother Glen received the same sentence in October.
Both had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud, records show.
The brothers owned One Stop Insurance Agency, which was located at 17088 West Dixie Hwy., from March 1990 to August 2015.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office, the Starr brothers — who were both licensed insurance agents — issued liability and cargo policies to independent truckers and small trucking companies for Progressive Insurance Company, Castle Point and Lloyds of London.
The brothers would then work with finance companies including Pro Premium Finance Company, Standard Premium Finance Management, Corporation, and DAB Premium Finance, LLC to secure loans for clients, allowing them to pay the premiums.
Beginning in July 2014, the insurance company would submit about “300 false and fraudulent application packages to Pro Premium and other finance companies for funding” a month, the attorney’s office said in a news release.
“The documents in the package were prepared using the names of real companies as well as fictitious companies, which were purportedly true customers of One Stop,” the attorney’s office wrote in the release.
When the loans were approved, the brother’s would put the money in their accounts.
When the brothers learned in August 2015 that the fraud was going to be discovered, the left the country for Colombia, the attorney’s office said. They were arrested in Colombia in 2018.
Because of the fraud, Pro Premium, which had been in business since 1988, had to close.