CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of North Carolina Man in $2.7 Million Workers’ Compensation Insurance Scam
Contact: Alexis Lambert
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today the arrest of a North Carolina man in a $2.7 million workers’ compensation insurance scam. Carl Delmas Fuller, of Wake Forest, N.C., was charged Friday with mail and wire fraud for scamming a Highlands County employment services company with a fake workers’ compensation insurance policy.
“Fraud scams like this jeopardize the stability of our economy and slow the growth of Florida’s businesses,” said CFO Atwater. “We will not sit by and let scam artists and thieves rob Florida businesses and taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.”
An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, found that National Employer Services (NES), located in Avon Park, believed that they had purchased required workers’ compensation coverage through a North Carolina insurance agent by the name of David Walters, doing business as Southeast Services Incorporated. NES provided proof that they had paid Southeast Services more than $2.7 million in workers’ compensation premiums for which Walters issued multiple certificates of insurance.
Further investigation revealed the company named as the carrier of the policy had no agent by the name of David Walters, no affiliation with an entity by the name of Southeast Services, Inc., and they had never received any type of premium payments from or on behalf of NES. Bank records revealed that the business address used by Southeast Services was a private mailbox in Myrtle Beach, S.C., owned exclusively by Carl Delmas Fuller.
Employees of the mailbox business and the North Carolina bank, where NES checks made out to Southeast Services were transported and deposited, positively identified Fuller as the sole owner of the Southeast Services mailbox and bank account. Analysis of the checking account determined that no premium payments were made or forwarded to any insurance company and that hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid out directly to Fuller.
The Department of Financial Services’ investigation was assisted by the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If convicted, Fuller faces up to 20 years in prison.
Anyone with information regarding suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. 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.