Florida forces Texas surety company to halt bonding operations

Florida authorities have cracked down on a Texas surety company that allegedly sold unauthorized bonds to school districts and businesses contracted by the U.S. military.

The Florida insurance commissioner recently issued a final cease-and-desist order against Texas-based Infinity Surety and its president, George D. Black Sr. Officials claim Infinity Surety sold more than $2 million in surety bonds to Florida contractors, but had only a starter-home in Texas — valued at $130,700 — to back up the bonds. Officials said the company had no legal authorization to sell bonds in the Sunshine State.

Black was indicted in March by a federal grand jury on mail fraud charges. He allegedly earned $2.8 million in fees by selling bonds online to 150 different companies. Weeks after his arrest, Florida insurance officials issued Infinity an initial cease and desist order. The final order, issued near the end of June, means the company must stop its Florida operations.

But Florida wasn’t the only state wary of Infinity Surety. In December, Louisiana insurance officials filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming it lacked the proper certification and licenses.

A month later, the state’s insurance commissioner, Jim Donelon, started raising red flags about bid bonds and performance bonds issued by the company.

Black was released on bond in late March.