CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 9
March 2, 2007

BROWARD COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH INSURANCE FRAUD

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, announced the arrest this week of a Broward County man on a charge of filing false and fraudulent insurance claims in connection with two fires at his mobile home.

Carl Hickey, of Weston, allegedly used old photos of his home, taken before it was damaged by the first fire, to apply for new insurance. He then submitted a claim for the second fire allegedly based on the fraudulent application. Hickey was arrested Tuesday by State Fire Marshal arson investigators and was booked into the Broward County Jail. If convicted on the charges, he faces up to five years in prison on each charge in addition to restitution and possible fines.

“Insurance fraud is a costly crime that results in higher premiums for everyone,” said CFO Sink. “That’s why we take insurance fraud seriously and will pursue investigations aggressively.”

The fires remain under investigation, and anyone with information is urged to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).

Investigators said that in late 2005 the Coconut Creek mobile home park where Hickey’s home was located was being sold and that the mobile homes had been ordered vacated from the park. On December 26, 2005, a fire occurred at Hickey’s mobile home and caused extensive damage. Hickey filed an insurance claim with Citizens Insurance Company. After the first fire, Hickey again insured the mobile home and told the new insurance agent that there was no damage and allegedly presented old photographs showing an undamaged mobile home. On January 15, 2006, the mobile home had a second fire, and Hickey submitted a second insurance claim to Citizens Insurance.

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin. Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).