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CFO Sink’s Crackdown on Insurance Fraud Leads to Prestigious Accreditation

2/25/2009

CONTACT:  Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate
(850) 413-2842          
                                                                       
TAMPA -- Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today saw her Division of Insurance Fraud receive full accreditation from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation at a ceremony in Tampa.  This prestigious accreditation is recognition of CFO Sink’s commitment to a top-rated law enforcement division which cracks down on insurance fraud in Florida and protects everyday Floridians against fraud and abuse. 
 
The accreditation for the Division of Insurance Fraud is a highly prized, 260-standard recognition of law enforcement professional excellence, a critical component of the CFO’s duty as the agency head of the Florida Department of Financial Services.
 
“As CFO, I have worked to crack down on fraud and abuse and always stood up for Floridians.  This prestigious accreditation for my Division of Insurance Fraud acknowledges our focus on protecting hardworking Floridians from being defrauded,” said CFO Sink. “The fact that my Division of Insurance Fraud now joins the proud and proven ranks of accredited law enforcement agencies in Florida is a testament to the Division’s relentless pursuit of insurance fraudsters and to our commitment to protect the interests of everyday Floridians.”
 
Earlier this month, CFO Sink’s team targeted over 100 individuals from Pensacola to Miami in a week-long sweep of insurance fraud suspects for either stealing or planning to steal over $3.5 million in insurance premiums.  The CFO’s Division of Insurance Fraud has long been recognized as a national leader in the fight against insurance fraud, consistently ranking among the top states in the number of arrests and convictions and making over 800 insurance fraud-related arrests in the last fiscal year.
 
Colonel Vicki Cutcliffe, who heads the Division of Insurance Fraud, recently announced that the team of assessors from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) examined all aspects of the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud’s (DFS/DIF) policies and procedures, management, operations, and support services, for the purpose of accreditation. 
 
The Accreditation Manager for DFS/DIF is Captain Robert Brongel and the assessment team included law enforcement practitioners from Florida law enforcement agencies.  The Division’s accreditation is for three years.  A copy of the standards is available through the Department of Financial Services’ Communications Office.
 
DFS investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance.  Depending on the estimated loss amount, the department will pay up to $25,000 for information directly leading to an arrest and conviction.  Anyone with information about this or any other suspected insurance fraud is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/fraud. Complaints can be tracked online.
 
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.