CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Insurance Fraud Arrest for Medical Claims Billing Scheme
Contact: Chris Cate
TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Tawania Weekley for filing more than $80,000 in fraudulent medical claims. She faces 80 different criminal counts after fraudulently filing for emergency room care, hospital stays, medical equipment, as well as multiple medical tests including MRIs, EKGs and x-rays that were never performed.
“Every fraudulent claim drives up the cost of insurance in Florida,” said CFO Atwater.”I’m grateful to our investigative team and partners for working tirelessly to protect the hard working and honest people of Florida from harmful acts of fraud.”
After receiving a referral from Weekley’s insurance carriers, an investigation conducted by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) discovered that Weekley altered and created new medical claims forms, complete with forged doctors’ signatures, and submitted the forged documents for reimbursement under her accidental and cancer indemnity policies. In total, she filed 20 claims for herself and immediate family under the accidental policy and one additional claim for herself under the cancer policy.
DIF investigators partnered with the Grady County Sheriff’s Office in Cairo, Georgia where Weekley recently relocated with her family, to make the arrest. She remains in jail while awaiting extradition to Florida.
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.