Broward County Woman Arrested 2nd Time for Fraud
CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
FORT LAUDERDALE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today the arrest of a Broward County woman on charges that she stole $200,000 in insurance payments from her former boss, a chiropractor. She was previously arrested in September on charges that she collected nearly $24,000 on fraudulent chiropractic treatment claims she filed on herself and her husband.
Jamie Bruce, 30, of Fort Lauderdale, is now facing one count of first-degree grand theft and two counts of fraudulent use of personal identification. If convicted on the charges, she could be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison in addition to fines and restitution. The arrests stem from an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. The case agent was Detective Gary Schiaffo.
"Our investigators have determined that this woman was systematically defrauding insurance companies, and insurance fraud forces premiums higher for the rest of us," said CFO Sink, who oversees the department. "Fraud will not be tolerated in our state. We are committed to protecting Florida's citizens from these crimes."
Bruce was the office manager for Joseph and Joseph, PA when the alleged thefts occurred, and in 2004 she allegedly submitted claims to Aetna Insurance Company for chiropractic services that were never rendered to her and her husband. Aetna paid nearly $24,000 to Joseph and Joseph on the claims, but Detective Schiaffo said the insurance checks ended up in Bruce's personal account. The scheme began to unravel when Aetna called for follow-up information on the account and was told by another employee that there were no patient charts for them.
The investigation of Bruce's account revealed other insurance company checks had been posted to her account. The investigation found that Bruce's position as office manager provided her with direct access to insurance checks as they arrived in the mail.
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 is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.