“RICO” DEFENDANTS JOHN AND HEATH RITENOUR ARE FACING MULTIPLE LAWSUITS ALLEGING VIOLATIONS OF FLORIDA’S CIVIL REMEDIES FOR CRIMINAL PRACTICES ACT (“CIVIL RACKETERING”) FOR ENGAGING IN A YEARS-LONG “RACKETEERING” SCHEME GEARED TO ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE IOA’S STOCK VALUE THROUGH STEALING AGENT ACCOUNTS, OVERCHARGING CUSTOMERS AND OTHER FEES
Orlando, FL, June 15, 2020 –(PR.com)– In response to Insurance Office of America, Inc., John Ritenour and Heath Ritenour’s motion Extension of Time to Respond to Discovery and for a Protective Order in a case currently pending in Seminole County, Florida, Farrow Law firm filed a Response alleging Plaintiff Insurance Office of America, Inc. (“IOA”) and its principals, Plaintiffs John K. Ritenour and Heath Ritenour, are facing four lawsuits alleging violations of Florida’s Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices Act (“Civil Racketeering”), for engaging in a years-long Racketeering scheme geared to artificially inflate IOA’s stock value through stealing agent accounts and overcharging customers agency and other fees. The lawsuit alleges, as other filed lawsuits around the country evidence, Plaintiffs have a long history of allegations of dishonesty with regard to their business practices. It also alleges, Plaintiffs also have a long history of making a mockery of the judicial system by filing baseless objections to discovery and otherwise wanting to simply duck and delay the judicial process.
The Response goes on to allege, “in a concerted effort to bully and intimidate litigants and their lawyers prosecuting very serious claims, IOA, John Ritenour and Heath Ritenour have filed this collateral lawsuit essentially saying, ‘they didn’t do it – any of it.’ Upon being served with Plaintiffs’ lawsuit, Defendant…served lawful discovery in the form Requests for Production and Notices for Depositions in his effort to defend himself. Unsurprisingly, Plaintiffs have filed a motion for extension of time to respond to discovery and a motion for protective order in a clear attempt to delay and conceal the truth – that this collateral lawsuit was filed for purposes other than what is permitted under the law.”
The Response further alleges, “As set forth in painstaking detail in the pending lawsuits, Plaintiffs IOA, John Ritenour and Heath Ritenour’s schemes and fraud are designed to make them very wealthy at the expense of their customers, potential customers, independent agents, employees and shareholders. In fact, John Ritenour recently repeated the benefits of almost 10 years of intentionally manipulating IOA’s stock value when he ‘retired’ and handed over the reigns to his son Heath Ritenour.”
In the summation of the Response, it is alleged and argued, “try as they might, Plaintiffs John and Heath Ritenour cannot hide from the wreckage of their past and current schemes which have punished, intimidated and plain out hurt people who gave their best to IOA – especially where they themselves put their own reputation at issue by filing this highly unusual and nearly unprecedented case against victims and their lawyers.”
The Farrow Law Firm has filed a complaint in the circuit court for the seventeenth judicial circuit in and for Broward County Florida, alleging the principles of Longwood, Florida based Insurance Office of America Inc. (IOA) including Valli Ritenour and John Ritenour engaged in Florida’s RACKETEER INFLUENCED AND CORRUPT ORGANIZATIONS ACT (“Civil RICO“) to defraud Plaintiff and other IOA associates out of rightly owed insurance commissions.
The complaint alleges Valli Ritenour and John Ritenour engaged in a 5-year scheme of civil conspiracy to doctor commission reports and falsify reconciliations to insurance agents of IOA, which allowed them to skim and defraud insurance commission payments owed to sales agents such as Plaintiff.
RICO Defendants Valli Ritenour and John Ritenour intentionally and substantially interfered with agents such as Plaintiff’s commissions by stealing, concealing and transferring commission remunerations through either false accounting, concealing actual realized commissions or through fraudulently transferring to other unlicensed entities and persons to launder their illegal gains.
RICO Defendants Valli and John Ritenour would then re-route these illegal commissions through their illegal and unlicensed entity “1188 Partners LLC” to conceal the “profits” of this well coordinated scheme.
In the process, IOA and the RICO Defendants Ritenour violated Florida Statute Section 626.753(2), which prohibits the payment of commissions to “any corporation unless such corporation is a licensed insurance agency” and states that “in addition to other penalties provided thereof, the license of any licensee violating or participating in the violation of this section shall be revoked.”
“Massive insurance companies such as IOA are not immune to the laws of the Florida Department of Financial Services and need to be held accountable for their nefarious actions,” said Jay Farrow of Farrow Law Firm.
RICO Defendants John and Valli Ritenour engaged in this act with the hopes of artificially inflating the value of IOA, so that it could be packaged for sale, which would result in a windfall of cash for the RICO Defendants.
Upon evaluating RICO Defendants misdeeds, Insurance Industry Expert and Attorney Michael Sapourn concluded that these actions could result in the possible revocation of IOA’s Insurance License and their ability to conduct business.
“This complaint encompasses a wide spread epidemic that has been going on for many years,” said Jay Farrow. “My client as well as many other IOA agents could see damages totaling in the millions of dollars, never mind the possible insurance license revocation, which IOA and the Ritenours are now facing.”
Jay Farrow added, “We look forward to learning more about RICO Defendants, the associated Insurance Carriers and other individuals that had a fiduciary responsibility to report this.”
The lawsuit seeks damages of more than several million dollars and asks the court to appoint a temporary receiver to preserve all evidence.