Suspect arrested in insurance scam cases

Adrian Hernandez-Rodriguez

GOSHEN — A Fort Wayne man faces accusations he sold bogus insurance policies, including to victims in Goshen.

Adrian Hernandez-Rodriguez, 46, was booked into the Elkhart County Jail Tuesday on felony charges of counterfeiting as well as theft in two separate cases.

The cases stem from investigations by Elkhart County and Goshen police after the agencies received fraud reports last year.

One victim said he purchased what Hernandez-Rodriguez sold as a policy through Founder’s Insurance for nearly $2,000, while a second victim reported he was sold a policy for his business for nearly $2,500 through Arch Insurance, during interviews with a county detective in September and October. The two said they had met with Hernandez-Rodriguez at the McDonald’s restaurant along Lincolnway East on Goshen’s south side in May 2018, according to county police in a probable cause affidavit in that case.

About a month later, in November, Goshen police received a report involving Hernandez-Rodriguez. Another victim alleged he purchased what Hernandez-Rodriguez sold as an Arch Insurance policy for his business for $3,250 in July 2018 and received what looked like a legitimate insurance card, the affidavit in the other case shows.

He told a detective during a later interview Hernandez-Rodriguez returned to the business a week after the transaction, and he was supposed to write another check for $10,000 for a three-month policy, but he never did, according to that affidavit.

The victim reported the fraud allegations to police after he found he couldn’t file a claim through what he thought was his new policy. He had reached out to the Indiana Department of Insurance and learned Hernandez-Rodriguez’s company was fake and he was under investigation through other open cases, Goshen police said in their document. Paperwork the victim received in the insurance deal identified “Adrian Hernandez Insurance” as a branch of Arch Insurance.

The state insurance department told a Goshen detective that Hernandez-Rodriguez was not licensed to sell insurance when he made the deal with the victim last July, that he wasn’t an Arch Insurance agent, and the policy number he provided to the victim did not exist in Arch’s records. An Arch representative also said the logo Hernandez-Rodriguez used on in the deal was different from the company’s actual logo, that affidavit shows.

For the other two victims, a sheriff’s office detective learned the policy number on Founder’s Insurance paperwork came from a canceled policy issued elsewhere in Indiana, and the policy number on the other man’s Arch Insurance document was not a valid number, the document in the other case shows.

The detective had interviewed Hernandez-Rodriguez in September 2018. He said he was an insurance agent until December 2017, but after that role ended, he continued selling purported policies, the affidavit in the sheriff’s office case shows.

Hernandez-Rodriguez told the detective he created the Founder’s policy document on his computer, including copying and pasting the company’s logo from an image online. He also estimated he sold about eight such policies, according to the affidavit.

The counterfeiting and theft charges from the Goshen police investigation were filed Feb. 1 in Elkhart County Superior Court 6. Two counterfeiting charges from the sheriff’s office investigation were then filed March 7 in Superior Court 5, court information shows.

Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aimee.ambrose@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 316.

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