Security First Accountant Charged with Siphoning $1.4M Through Fake Invoices

By | August 11, 2023
New You can now listen to Insurance Journal articles!

An accountant for Ormond Beach-based Security First Insurance Co. has been charged with stealing more than $1.4 million by creating false invoices and routing the funds to her personal accounts.

Samantha Rae Link, 30, of Daytona Beach, was arrested Wednesday, charged with grand theft and fraud, the Ormond Beach Police Department said in a statement. Link had been an accountant at the insurer for 8 years, Security First President Melissa Burt DeVriese said Friday.

DeVriese said she knew the woman and worked on the same floor.

“I’m very disappointed. It’s a very unfortunate situation,” DeVriese said.

She stressed that the alleged fraud took place at the managing general agency level and did not affect Security First’s $73 million surplus. The firm also has adequate corporate insurance to cover employee theft.

Link’s alleged actions came to light after Security First changed its accounting system and noticed some irregularities, including double invoices from vendors with slightly different numbers.

As soon as the theft was apparent, the company fired the woman and reported it to police, DeVriese said. Since then, Security First has changed its accounting processes again to provide further safeguards against similar actions.

Link is reportedly represented by criminal defense attorney Aaron Delgado, of Daytona Beach. He could not be reached for comment Friday morning. Link was still in the Volusia County Correctional Facility as of Friday morning, held on a $650,000 cash bond.

The case is being prosecuted by the local State Attorney’s office, which was involved in the investigation, the police chief said in a statement.

Security First has seen few instances of employee embezzlement or theft, DeVriese said. After Hurricane Irma struck the state in 2017, one worker was found to have created fake vendors and funneled some $280,000 to personal accounts before the fraud was discovered.

When asked if she had advice for other insurance carriers, she noted that while most employees appear to be honest, some bad actors are out there.

“It’s up to the company’s management to continuously monitor the company’s process and procedures to ensure compliance with best practices,” DeVriese said. “We did that, which is why we caught the theft. But this is an on-going and continuous process – so we’ll never stop refining and improving our processes and procedures to reduce the opportunities for bad actors.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.