Appeals Court Rules In Cantonment Insurance Agent’s Racketeering, Money Laundering Case
A Cantonment insurance sentenced to eight years in prison for racketeering and money laundering may be set free from jail as he appeals, following a ruling released Monday by the Florida First District Court of Appeal.
Circuit Judge Ross Goodman found Randall Petersen guilty of conducting a fraudulent insurance scheme that involved the theft of several hundred thousand dollars of commissions and bonuses from American National Insurance Company and Liberty National Insurance Company.
Petersen filed an appeal and a motion for post-trial release, which would have allowed him to stay out of jail awaiting the outcome of the appeal. Judge Goodman denied the motion for post-trial release. The appellate court reversed and remanded the post-trial release motion back to Goodman for reconsideration. He can grant the post-trial release, or again deny with specific reasoning. The decision by the appeals court has no impact on Petersen’s conviction appeal.
In the scheme in which Petersen was convicted. he advertised job opportunities on the internet for College Consultants of the Gulf Coast, and induced hundreds of applicants to provide information for life insurance that he and his associates described as free job benefits.
The prosecutor, Assistant State Attorney Russ Edgar, showed that College Consultants was not a real company and Petersen merely used the information from the job applicants to complete life insurance applications that he submitted to the insurance companies. The companies paid Petersen advance commissions, which were as much as 130% of the first year premiums, and bonuses.
Before the companies realized the insureds were not employees, Petersen had obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars of commissions and bonuses and let the policies lapse for nonpayment.
Petersen was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by seven years probation.