CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of Fort Myers Chiropractor Linked to PIP Fraud
Contact: Chris Cate
TALLAHASSEE – CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Harold John Pompey, 68, a licensed chiropractor working at Gate Parkway Diagnostics Center (GPDC) in Fort Myers for scheming to defraud multiple insurance carriers by filing false and fraudulent insurance claims in order to collect PIP insurance benefits. Investigators uncovered that Pompey and GPDC were merely completing forms in order to support fraudulent claims being filed for insurance PIP funds to be paid to GPD.
“PIP fraud impacts all Floridians by driving up auto insurance rates,” said CFO Atwater. “I am proud of our dedicated fraud investigators who work to protect honest and hardworking Floridians by getting these fraudsters off our streets and out of our wallets.”
An investigation conducted by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud determined that GPDC was operating under the guise of a legitimate diagnostics center. Diagnostic test results obtained at GPDC were the lifeblood of fraud committed by a number of PIP clinics in Jacksonville. Pompey’s prior employment with one of the known fraudulent Jacksonville clinics, One Touch Therapy Corporation, opened connections to the network participating in similar schemes to defraud several insurance companies.
In order for participants to appear to suffer from legitimate injuries warranting massage therapy or chiropractic care, they oftentimes require a corresponding radiological diagnosis. Additionally, tests performed at GDPC allowed for Pompey and others to cash into the $10,000 available under a participant’s PIP coverage. Recruiters connected to the fraudulent clinics would coach participants on how to effectively fake ailments without drawing attention from the insurance company.
Following a search warrant, it was discovered that between October 2011 and December 2012, GPDC filed for 514 patients, and during this time Pompey was listed at the designated chiropractor on more than 300 of these files.
Pompey was arrested in Fort Myers on a Duval County warrant and charged with one count of a first degree scheme to defraud and six counts of false and fraudulent insurance claims. Bond was set at $210,021.
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 $342,000 to more than 50 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.
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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.