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CFO Sink Commends DFS Detective, Multi-agency Effort to Recover Mllions for Fraud Victims

6/2/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2009                  
CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Jennifer Hirst, (850) 413-2842
 
CFO SINK COMMENDS DFS DETECTIVE, MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT TO RECOVER MLLIONS FOR FRAUD VICTIMS
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced that due to the tireless efforts of her Department’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) and a multi-agency effort, 27 victims of a nationwide workers’ compensation fraud will be provided with millions of dollars of restitution money. 
 
These payments were announced at a press conference held today in Jacksonville with representatives from the Department of Financial Services, United States Attorney’s Office, and the FBI Jacksonville Office.  The restitutions are coming two years after the indictment of the five criminals who scammed hundreds of victims in a $100 million workers’ compensation fraud. 
 
“Two years ago we worked hard to bring these scammers who hurt so many Floridians to justice, but our work was not done.  I am very pleased to announce that today the injured employees that ended up having to sell their cars, homes and possessions to pay their medical bills, will now see some of their money returned,” said CFO Sink.  “I commend the work of our dedicated Division of Insurance Fraud investigators, especially Detective Clark, and all the agencies who came together to catch these criminals and return millions of dollars back to the individuals hurt by this fraud.”
 
In April 2007, CFO Sink joined with the US Attorney and FBI to announce a 25-count indictment charging the five suspects in the $100 million workers’ compensation fraud scam.  The investigation began within the Division of Insurance Fraud after lead detective Tommy Clark received a referral on a business functioning without workers’ compensation.  Once detective Clark realized the magnitude of the case and the fact that it was bleeding over into other states, the FBI and US Attorney’s Office began assisting with the investigation.
 
“This was a significant impact case; major injuries were sustained and in some instances employees died from work related injuries,” stated Division of Insurance Fraud Detective Tommy Clark. “It gives me great satisfaction to see some of the victims receiving checks today, varying from $50 thousand to $350 thousand.  Today’s event is what makes my job worth while.”
 
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fraud is a second degree felony in Florida.  DIF made over 800 insurance fraud-related arrests in the last fiscal year and depending on the estimated loss amount, DIF will pay up to $25,000 for information directly leading to an arrest and conviction.  Anyone with information about any 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.