CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Conviction 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 conviction of a North Carolina man in a $2.7 million workers’ compensation insurance scam. Carl Delmas Fuller, 53, of Wake Forest, N.C., pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, received four years in prison, and was ordered to pay restitution of more than $3.1 million for scamming a Highlands County employment services company with a fake workers’ compensation insurance policy.
“Fraud scams like this destroy the stability of our economy and inhibit the growth of Florida 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 dollars. This conviction is another win in our ongoing battle against insurance fraud in Florida.”
An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud discovered that National Employment Services (NES) believed that they had purchased the required workers’ compensation coverage through North Carolina insurance agent David Walters of Southeast Services Incorporated. NES provided proof that they had paid Southeast Services over $2.7 million in workers’ compensation premiums for which Walters issued multiple certificates of insurance.
Further investigation revealed that 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 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 mail box owned exclusively by Carl Delmas Fuller.
Employees of the mail box business and a North Carolina bank positively identified Fuller as the sole owner of the Southeast Services mail box and bank account. Analysis of this checking account determined that no premium payments were made or forwarded to any insurance company and that hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid directly to Fuller.
Insurance fraud detectives were assisted in the investigation by the Division of Workers’ Compensation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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. 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.