Judge acquits 4 in Florida insurance fraud case

AP News
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Posted: Feb 16, 2012 11:20 AM
Judge acquits 4 in Florida insurance fraud case

A federal judge has acquitted four former Vanguard Fire and Casualty Co. insurance company executives on charges of defrauding $20 million from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

A court clerk on Thursday confirmed that U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ordered the verdict Tuesday night in Tallahassee.

Stephen Dobson, a lawyer for one of the former Vanguard executives, says Hinkle ruled there couldn't be any fraud because the defendants told hurricane fund officials what they were doing and why they were doing it.

The charges stemmed from claims during the 2004 hurricane season.

The defendants included William Sanders, former president of the now-defunct Maitland-based company, and former CEO Thomas Stinson.

The others are Richard Magsam and John Henry Axley III. All have gone on to new jobs in the insurance industry.