A Detroit man who sold counterfeit insurance documents through Facebook has pleaded guilty, say Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox.
Last July, following an undercover investigation by DIFS' regulatory investigators, Anthony Johnson, 30, was charged with: one count of using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony; and four counts of possession of stolen or counterfeit insurance certificates, five-year felonies.
The departments alleged Johnson used Facebook to sell car insurance policies that appeared to be through 21st Century Insurance Company. Johnson offered a six-month policy for $150 and a year-long policy for $200.
A check with 21st Century determined the documents were fraudulent despite using the company's logo. A search of DIFS' databases showed Johnson was not licensed by the State of Michigan to sell insurance.
Early this month before Judge Chandra W. Baker in Wayne County's 3rd Circuit Court, Johnson pleaded guilty to: one count of using a computer to commit a crime, a seven-year felony; and
one count of insurance fraudulent acts, a four-year felony.
"Exploiting consumers' needs for affordable insurance through counterfeit schemes is a crime and I appreciate the work done between my office and DIFS to reach this guilty plea," Nessel said. "While we will continue to hold accountable those who break the law, I also encourage people to do their research before purchasing any type of service that's advertised online."
Sentencing for Johnson is set for Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. before Judge Baker.
"Buying and selling fraudulent insurance certificates can lead not only to criminal penalties, but may also leave the driver uninsured in the event of an accident," Fox said. "This is a great time for uninsured drivers to take advantage of the new lower cost options under Michigan's new auto insurance law and to get coverage without paying increased premiums or penalties before the amnesty period ends on Jan. 1, 2022. More information can be found at Michigan.gov/AutoInsurance."