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State regulators: Insurance plan offered to Pasco school district may be illegal

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LAND O’ LAKES — The Pasco County School District has cut off negotiations with a company that was offering free life insurance policies for all school employees.

Bill Olive and Mark Pollock of the Pollock Financial Group had presented the proposal in April, and at the time, one local insurance broker said the deal sounded “too good to be true.” This week the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said the plan may be illegal.

Belinda Miller, general counsel to the state insurance agency, wrote Pasco School Board Chairwoman Alison Crumbley late Thursday to reveal the outcome of the agency’s investigation of Pollock Financial. She said the company began offering the “free life insurance” product to local governments in Florida as far back as 2012.

The proposal, which purports to carry a $50,000 life insurance policy for each employee, would actually pay benefits to an offshore trust held in the Cayman Islands.

“The Pasco School District has no guarantee of receiving any monies from the proposed arrangement,” she wrote.

Florida law prohibits anyone from procuring a life insurance policy on another individual “unless the benefits under such contract are payable to the individual insured or his or her personal representatives,” she wrote.

Olive reached out to Pasco Assistant Superintendent Ray Gadd by email Thursday to discuss a new proposal, but after reading Miller’s letter, Gadd was in no mood to continue discussions.

Gadd sent the following response late Thursday night:

“It is entirely possible that the new proposal could have merit. However, due to the constant changes in proposals, your shifting allegiance to various characters with purported expertise in the field and your failure to gain the trust and respect of staff and the board I am strongly recommending that you cease any further contact with our school system. I would be remiss if I did not point out that staff no longer trusts what you have to say or what you are proposing. This has been a long and arduous process that has yielded nothing of value with the possible exception that we are wiser from having met you. The school superintendent and board are public officials and you are of course free to contact them. My office, however, will not entertain any proposal from you or Pollack unless directed to do so by the superintendent.”

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