CFO Sink Launches Nationwide Search for New Division Director of Insurance Fraud
Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
TALLAHASSEE—In an effort to combat the mounting rate of insurance fraud, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink Wednesday launched a nationwide search for a highly-experienced and talented law enforcement official to lead the Department of Financial Services' Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, Floridians pay an additional $1,400 in insurance costs each year due to fraud. Auto insurance fraud alone is estimated to cost Floridians $250 annually.
"We're looking for a highly-motivated law enforcement official to lead our nationally-recognized team of insurance fraud detectives," said CFO Sink. "We're going to strengthen our efforts to crack down on this growing crime in our state."
DIF is one of 40 state anti-fraud bureaus and one of 32 with police powers. A nationally recognized law enforcement agency, DIF consistently leads other state fraud bureaus in arrests and convictions. The average number of fraud referrals annually among state anti-fraud bureaus is 2,400; DIF's average is 13,000.
The average number of cases presented annually for prosecution among state bureaus is 127; DIF's annual average is 800. DIF is also directly responsible for annual court-awarded restitution to insurance fraud victims averaging more than $100 million a year.
"Our mission is to help innocent Floridians recover from these crimes and stop those criminals who perpetuate insurance fraud in our state," Sink said. "Spread the word: if you commit insurance fraud in Florida, you will be brought to justice and punished to the fullest extent of the law."
The fraud division is the law enforcement arm of the Department of Financial Services responsible for investigating crimes associated with insurance claim fraud, insurance premium fraud, workers' compensation claim fraud, workers' compensation premium avoidance and diversions, insurer insolvency fraud, unauthorized insurance entity fraud, and insurance agent crimes. The division's investigators also investigate viatical application fraud, defalcations of escrow funds held in trust by title insurance firms, and non-Medicaid related health care fraud.
The division offers a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in complex insurance fraud cases, and has paid more than $94,000 in rewards since 2001.
Earlier this month, CFO Sink promoted former DIF Director Eric Miller to deputy chief financial officer. Major John Askins is serving as acting director of DIF.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.