Volume 2 Number 32
August 8, 2005


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TOM GALLAGHER ANNOUNCES ARRESTS IN $100,000 INSURANCE FRAUD CASE

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced the arrest of a Jacksonville acupuncturist and two of his patients on charges of insurance fraud. The announcement came after an investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), which CFO Gallagher oversees, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) uncovered a fraudulent billing scheme that stuck at least seven insurance companies for more than $100,000. 

Dr. Jia Qi Wu, 71, of Jacksonville; Frank Wodrazka, 60, of Weston; and Runsong Jiang, 34, of Orlando, allegedly participated in a scheme that included pre-billing, billing for services not rendered and over-billing.  Wu, who operates Dr. Wu Acupuncture Center at 3948 Sunbeam Road, Suite 4, Jacksonville, is charged with insurance fraud, organized fraud and two counts of money laundering.  Wodrazka is charged with money laundering, and Jiang is charged with organized fraud and insurance fraud.  The charges are being prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution.   

“Insurance fraud hits every Floridian in the pocketbook,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department.  “We will continue to follow every lead regarding possible fraud and send a strong message that such abuse of our citizens will not be tolerated.”  

Following up on a tip, an undercover detective contacted an employee concerning the fraudulent billing and she offered to give the undercover officer half of whatever she received from the insurance company in order to keep him quiet.  The employee paid the undercover officer $333 as his share in the proceeds from the insurance carrier.  Jiang allegedly was paid more than $12,000.   

Insurance companies billed in the scheme were Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Progressive Insurance Company, Response Insurance, AETNA Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CIGNA), and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Inc.   

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance.  Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.  A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
 

Night falls over the 1908 Lafayette County courthouse in Mayo, the county seat.  The two-story frame building across the street was an earlier courthouse. The county was formed in 1856 and named after the French marquis who assisted the colonies during the Revolutionary War.