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Business Observer Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 1 week ago

Area man found guilty in promissory note scheme

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Palm Harbor resident James Hosner has been convicted in the $48,500 securities scam.

James Hosner, a resident of Palm Harbor, has been found guilty of securities fraud, selling unregistered securities, selling securities as an unregistered person and communications fraud related to his role in a promissory note scheme that targeted an elderly victim.

A Pinellas County jury convicted Hosner, who perpetuated the scheme via his company, St. Petersburg-based Phoenix Insurance Services Inc., authorities contended. 

According to a press release issued by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, Hosner sold three phony promissory notes, totaling $48,500, to an elderly victim. Hosner, the release states, exploited his existing relationship as the victim’s insurance agent to perpetuate the scam. As part of the scheme, he also lied about plans to purchase another insurance agency and used portions of the victim’s funds to pay insurance premiums and cover payroll.

“Fighting financial fraud is our top priority,” OFR Acting Chief of Financial Investigations Alex Toledo states in the release. “Vicious schemes that target our state’s elder population must be stopped. I appreciate the diligent work of the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office and OFR’s investigators in securing this positive outcome for the people of Florida."

OFR, the release states, began investigating Hosner in May 2018 and arrested him on Sept. 29, 2018. He will be sentenced March 16.

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