Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Top Dimwitted Fraud Criminals: Confessions of a Fraud Artist
Contact: CFO Atwater’s Press Office
TALLAHASSEE—This week Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the second installment of Florida’s top dimwitted fraud criminals arrested by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF). Although committing fraud is not a laughing matter, these cases serve as a reminder to dishonest Floridians that if you try to cheat the system for your own personal gain, you will be caught and justice will be served.
On March 12, 2012, the Director of the Division of Insurance Fraud was dining with a DIF captain at a restaurant in Broward County. While they were dining, an individual who identified himself as a public adjuster named “Denny,” who later was identified as Dennis Enrique Flores, began a conversation with the director and captain. Not knowing their employment, he revealed that he worked with his clients to fraudulently file homeowner insurance policy claims for existing damage. He further stated that his fee was twenty percent of the claim payment.
Flores asked that the director call him the following day to help him gain access to more clients. While Flores tried to locate his business card in his vehicle, the director and captain were able to capture his license plate number.
On April 5, 2012, as part of a joint interagency sting operation, Flores was contacted by an undercover DIF detective posing as the sister of the director and invited him to meet at an undercover house located in Cooper City. The undercover DIF detective stated that help was needed to offset the cost of the recently purchased home.
On April 26, 2012, Flores met with an undercover Broward Sheriff’s Office detective and the DIF detective to inspect the home. He advised that together they would represent the damage as occurring within the coverage period of the policy and instructed the detectives how to fraudulently state the facts of loss and make the damage physically appear to be recent.
Flores was arrested at that time and transported to Broward County Jail. He currently is awaiting trial, and the Broward State Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting the charges in this case.
Anyone with information 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 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 state spending.