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CFO Sink: Four Arrested in Windshield Insurance Fraud Scheme

4/9/2009

CONTACT:  Kyra Jennings or Jayme O’Rourke
(850) 413-2842      
 
Employees at windshield replacement stores billed almost 1,000 fraudulent insurance claims

TALLAHASSEE —Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today announced the arrests of four people in the Jacksonville area who were part of a scheme that resulted in almost 1,000 fraudulent windshield insurance claims, in which fifteen different insurance companies paid at least $775,000.

An ongoing investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that employees at three Lee and Cates Glass Company stores allegedly overbilled windshields and associated parts by billing insurance companies for a dealer windshield but using a less expensive, aftermarket item.

Timothy Kimball, 31, Alamo “MO” Talley, 29, Cliff Davis, 50, and Susan Davis, 51, have been charged with varying degrees of scheming to defraud and presenting false information or misleading statements in order to deceive and obtain property. If convicted, the suspects could face possible sentences ranging from 25 to 65 years behind bars.

“Arrests like this send a strong message that this costly crime will not be tolerated in Florida,” said CFO Sink. “Fraud doesn’t just hurt insurance companies – it inflicts real financial pain on families, businesses and communities.”

The charges stem from an ongoing investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, a sworn law enforcement agency responsible for the investigation of insurance fraud. As a direct result of this investigation, $450,000 was recovered to State Farm Insurance.

The Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) made over 800 insurance fraud-related arrests in the last fiscal year. Insurance fraud in Florida has been estimated to cost the average Florida family as much as $1,400 a year per person.  The DIF 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. Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.