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CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of Tampa Plumber for Fraud

3/14/2013

Contact: CFO Atwater’s Press Office
(850) 413-2842
  
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Timothy Wayne Sexton, 25, a representative of Plumbing Rescue Company located in Tampa.  On several occasions Plumbing Rescue employees allegedly pressured homeowners into completing thousands of dollars in unnecessary plumbing repairs by using scare tactics and false statements.
 
An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed multiple complaints against the company and accounts of deceptive practices.  The complaints all alleged the same type of behavior from Plumbing Rescue including misleading homeowners to believe that their pipes had been overrun by roots, which would cause the eventual collapsing and condemnation of the home.
 
Sexton attempted to steal $20,000 from consumers, was charged with scheme to defraud and grand theft and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.  If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.  Additional arrests are expected.
 
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 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.