CFO Jeff Atwater Commends Fraud Division for Record-Setting First Quarter
Contact: Alexis Lambert
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today commended the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) for a record-setting first quarter in 2012. For three consecutive months, the division has recorded over 100 arrests each month, the first time in the division’s history. Additionally, in March the division recorded the highest number of arrests for one month in almost two decades.
“We are committed to solving these costly crimes and untangling large organized-crime networks. It is important that we get at the root of the fraud by going after the ring leaders and enablers who orchestrate the scams that cost Floridians over a billion dollars each year,” CFO Atwater said. “I am proud of the division and all of our law enforcement partners who helped make this possible.”
Under CFO Atwater’s leadership, the division has made nearly 1,400 arrests and recovered more than $150 million in court-ordered restitution.
In addition to these arrests, the division’s investigations have led to the shutting down of more than 50 medical clinics due to intensive Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud investigations. PIP fraud constitutes the highest number of referrals to the division, and is a high priority for CFO Atwater.
CFO Atwater, along with Governor Rick Scott, worked tirelessly with legislative leaders this session to pass reforms to the state’s PIP system. Reforms championed by CFO Atwater passed this session target staged-accident fraud, strengthen billing practices so appropriate services are provided to those who need care, tighten requirements for clinic ownership and provide rate relief for Florida’s consumers.
Anyone with information about these or any other incidents of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. 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, 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.