An Isle of Palms man identified by state insurance officials as being part of an alleged medical insurance fraud denied any involvement in the matter Thursday.

"I deny participating in a fraud or a 'scheme,' " William M. Worthy II said in written statement released through an attorney. He also said he would "vigorously contest" the allegations.

Scott Richardson, director of the S.C. Department of Insurance, issued an emergency cease-and-desist order Wednesday naming Worthy of Wild Dunes Resort and others for allegedly selling fake medical policies that have triggered at least $19 million in unpaid claims around the country.

The S.C. Attorney General's office plans to investigate the matter, the department said.

The agency said the policies in question were "limited benefit" health insurance plans offered through various associations.

Richardson said Worthy, operating unlicensed through a network of organizations and in cooperation with one or more Pakistani entities, helped sell fake policies and also attempted to buy insurance companies.

Worthy said that is not true and called the cease-and-desist order "completely unnecessary."

"I have not received premiums, nor have I issued policies or certificates of insurance," he said. "I am not in the business of soliciting insurance, delivering policies or adjusting claims."

The statement did not say what his current occupation is. South Carolina revoked his insurance license in 2006 after finding that he misappropriated premiums from insurers and consumers, the agency said.

Worthy said he would have no further public comment on the cease-and-desist order until it is taken up by the state Administrative Law Court.

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The Department of Insurance said at least 269 South Carolina residents bought the policies, though the number that were sold nationwide is unclear.

As of last month the operation left $19 million in unpaid claims, the state said in its order.

At least eight other states have taken action to halt the policy sales, including Texas, New Hampshire and Missouri.

A parallel case involving "the same people and entities" named in South Carolina's order prompted officials to seize and liquidate two unauthorized insurance firms in Tennessee last month.