HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A former CEO of an animal charity will now spend more than a year in prison after pleading guilty in a pet insurance fraud case.
Prosecutors with the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office were able to secure a guilty plea on ten new felony fraud charges against Albert Adams, with Adams entering his guilty plea one day before his trial was supposed to start.
“This is a con man who has taken advantage over and over of people who have big hearts and love dogs,” said Grayson Kamm, a spokesperson for the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office.
The State Attorney’s office explains that an investigation found Adams signed up for a pet insurance policy, which would reimburse him for his pets’ medical expenses. They say he filed claims and received payment for nearly $13,000 worth of medical procedures that never happened.
“He was taking an original receipt he had, a real receipt, and making his own receipts for procedures that never happened,” said Kamm. “In fact, some of the procedures he put in claims for were MRI's. That veterinary hospital doesn’t even have an MRI machine.”
The State Attorney’s Office reminds that Adams had been on probation from a fraud conviction involving his Soaring Paws charity. For the new charges, Adams will serve 15 months in prison, followed by 10 years of probation, and will need to pay back thousands of dollars.
“With non-violent financial crimes, it’s rare that you see prison time,” said Kamm. “So the fact that the judge and our prosecutors and law enforcement all worked together to have this man spend time behind bars for running this con against people with big hearts, I think that sends a message that we won’t stand for this kind of stuff.”
ABC Action News reached out to Adams’ attorney for comment and is waiting to hear back.