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CFO Jeff Atwater Rewards Three Citizens for Tips that Led to the Arrests of 10 Individuals and $560,000 in Fraudulent Billings to Date

3/28/2012

Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE--Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced $25,000 in rewards for three Floridians who provided key information that led to arrests and convictions in five major insurance fraud cases.  These citizens helped the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud uncover almost $560,000 in fraudulent insurance billings leading to 10 arrests to date.

“These individuals had the courage to come forward and report suspected insurance fraud ultimately helping protect their fellow Floridians from this costly crime,” CFO Atwater said. “Without their assistance these fraudsters would still be on the streets, stealing your hard-earned dollars.”

The following rewards were issued:

• $10,000 was awarded to a citizen whose report of a solicitation to participate in a staged automobile accident led to the arrest of an accident clinic owner, recruiter and massage therapist all from the same clinic.

• $10,000 was awarded to a citizen who was able to obtain audio as well as video evidence demonstrating the daily operation of an illegal accident clinic.  The citizen provided invaluable time and effort by taking time from his job and personal life to assist fraud detectives. 

• $5,000 was awarded to a citizen who provided detectives with assistance in uncovering a scheme to intentionally destroy a vehicle and making a fraudulent insurance claim. 

These cases were investigated by the Division of Insurance Fraud, the law enforcement arm of the Department of Financial Services responsible for investigating all insurance fraud in Florida.  Anyone with information about these or any other incidents of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0455. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. 

The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $275,000 to more than 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program.  The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, 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.