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CFO Jeff Atwater Statement Regarding Staged Accident Demonstration and Meeting with Insurance Fraud Tipsters in Tampa

4/7/2011

TALLAHASSEE - Florida CFO Jeff Atwater participated in a staged accident demonstration in Tampa today hosted by Allstate and the Tampa Police Department.  The event showcased several types of staged auto accidents used in insurance fraud scams.  Florida currently has three of the top five cities nationally for questionable medical claims associated with staged accidents –Tampa, Miami and Orlando.  CFO Atwater also met with two individuals who recently received rewards from the Division of Insurance Fraud for providing information that directly led to arrests and convictions in two insurance fraud schemes.

“Today’s staged accident demo was a great interpretation of the very real PIP fraud scams that happen on Florida’s streets every day, putting all motorists in danger and scamming Floridians out of their hard earned money,” said CFO Atwater.  “While these types of scams continue so will the increases in insurance premiums for every honest Floridian with a car in the driveway.  I am going after these criminals, and we will put them in handcuffs and bring them to justice”

“I was honored to meet with two recipients of our Anti-Fraud Reward Program who stepped up and provided tips to my Division of Insurance Fraud that led to the arrest and conviction of eight criminals and the closure of three accident clinics in the Tampa area.  Their brave actions help every Floridian who pays more than they should for insurance premiums.”

Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0455. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.  The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $250,000 to approximately 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. 

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.