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CFO Sink Announces Arrest of Boynton Beach Man for Staged Car Accident

10/23/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 23, 2009
CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Jennifer Hirst, (850) 413-2842
  
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced the arrest of Boynton Beach resident Fedely Esterlin, 34, for Insurance Fraud and Grand Theft after he presented a false insurance claim after a vehicle crash. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail Tuesday afternoon and, if convicted, faces up to 10 years in prison.
 
“Arrests like this send a strong message that insurance fraud 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.  I commend our insurance fraud investigators and the defendant’s employer for their diligent work on this case.”
 
On November 13, 2008, Esterlin struck the rear of a 1992 Acura that was stopped at an intersection in Palm Beach County.  On the scene he claimed he accidently pushed the gas pedal instead of the brake when trying to stop.  There was only minor damage, but Esterlin was taken to the hospital with complaints of stomach pain. Then he changed his story, claiming the other vehicle caused the accident by cutting him off as the light turned red.  Esterlin went as far as denying even knowing the other driver, who was a neighbor he had 90 phone calls with during the last three months.
 
Esterlin presented both a written and oral statement in support of a false insurance claim in an attempt to receive over $20K in medical expenses from the accident. 
 
The Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) made over 800 insurance fraud-related arrests in the last fiscal year, and investigates various forms of insurance fraud, 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 CFO Sink’s Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or visit to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/fraud.
 
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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practice.