Unfortunately, as the FBI concurs, "The very nature of insurance is a con artist's dream. We pay money today to financially protect us from some future event, which may not even happen." While Manifest Marine strives to avoid dealing with unscrupulous people and companies, some of us have dealt with or learned of some terrible pirates over the years. We urge all against placing any trust in any of the following:

Atlantic Marine Insurance Services

Atlantic Marine was a brokerage located in Florida and run by Michael Hodnett. The company declared bankruptcy and the State of Florida revoked the license of Hodnett. It was later determined that policies had been fraudulently issued and Hodnett was indicted and convicted in U.S. federal court and sentenced to a year in jail.

Alba Underwriting Agencies

Alba is the administrator of insurance policies issued with General and Marine Underwriters of Brunei.  As a result of Hurricane Ivan three boatowners made claims against such policies and all three claims were denied for a whole host of ridiculous reasons.  Eventually, Alba retreated to defending its denial of each of these claims on the basis that the boats were not 'safely' moored and so they were not obligated to provide coverage, despite the fact that every other insurer paid the claims made against them for boats in the same places and the same circumstances and despite the fact that one of the boats was a catamaran stored ashore!  There is clear evidence of bad faith on the part of Alba in handling these claims.  It has since been learned that this organization is now doing business under the name Ashforde Insurance Brokers.

Seawise International Insurance Consultants

Seawise was an insurance brokerage located in Sudbury, England. Seawise is known to have collected premium from boatowners for the purpose of arranging insurance only to retain the money so collected rather than forwarding it on to the insurance company. Confronted with this fraud, Seawise, made excuses and stalled in returning monies it had misappropriated. Frank Sherman was the managing director of Seawise but has since been convicted on the charge of fraudulent trading and served fifteen months in prison in connection with a prior company having a similar name and now bankrupt. The more recent Seawise is also no longer in operation but Sherman escaped prosecution for his criminal activities related to this company.

C. Michael English

English was a boat broker operating in Maryland and Florida. He has been accused of causing the sinking of a vessel to collect insurance proceeds, has been incarcerated for the theft of another vessel and was involved in the sale of a third vessel wherein the proceeds of the sale were withheld from the mortgagee.

David Kellerman

Kellerman is a private investigator concentrating in the marine field and operating in Florida. He was involved with the aforementioned Michael English who hired Kellerman to repossess the sold vessel. Instead of returning the vessel, Kellerman claimed that he had salvaged the vessel and was entitled to a salvage award. When he found that he would not succeed in this tack he removed the vessel from the U.S. and sold it for his own benefit. Kellerman was also involved in the adjustment of an insurance claim wherein the policyholder accused Kellerman of making improper advances upon his companion.

Graham Haywood

Haywood, an Englishman residing in Maryland but now deceased, was involved with both Alan Teale and Eton Management Corporation whose schemes are detailed hereafter. He was the nicest, most mild-mannered conman you could ever meet. His surviving wife, Connie Haywood, was engaged with him in his business.

Eton Management Corporation

Eton was a managing general agency located in New York City, New York. Eton was accused by a reputable insurance company of failing to forward premiums due to the company which Eton had collected from brokers and policyholders. While these claims were never substantiated, they were also never denied and Eton subsequently dropped out of business. There is an affiliated operation that may still be ongoing in London, England. John Mehigan and Wade Hoffman were principals in the New York operation.

Teale Network

A network of fraudulent companies referred to as the Teale Network by the FBI was headed by Englishman Alan Teale. Teale died in 1995 in a U.S. federal prison after being convicted in 1993 on many counts of insurance fraud, mostly revolving around setting up a series of fraudulent insurance companies and collecting premiums but not paying claims. While his crimes were eventually discovered, this was not before he left several policyholders who lost their yachts to Hurricane Andrew without the insurance they thought they had. Also convicted as co-conspirators or in related trials were his wife Charlotte Rentz and Philip Rennert, David Yeaman, Nolen Mendenhall, Michael Miller, George Jensen, John Nordstrom, Lawrence Hoehne, Robert Thul and Kelly Moore.


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Last edited June 30, 2022
© Manifest Marine, Ltd.