The North Region is responsible for the enforcement of insurance related crimes committed in Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington Counties. The region is divided into four general fraud squads, directed by one captain and four lieutenants.
Major Byrne is originally from Syracuse, New York where he lived with his wife and three children. Byrne attended Central Missouri University and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Police Science. Captain Byrne served in the U.S. Army from 1971 through 1973, assigned to the Military Police and obtained the rank of Specialist 4. In 1973 Byrne was employed as a police officer with the Hillside Police Department, Hillside, New Jersey. In 1974 Byrne joined the New York State Police where he worked uniform road patrol for eight years and later promoted to sergeant and assigned to the bureau of criminal Investigations. Byrne worked as an assistant unit coordinator and unit coordinator prior to retirement in 1994. From1994 through 2003 Byrne was employed with Royal Sunalliance Insurance Company as a Senior Special Investigator.
Byrne joined the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud on November 17, 2003. Byrne worked in the St. Petersburg Office until September of 2006 when he was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Tampa Office. Byrne was promoted to captain in August of 2008 then to major in 2014 supervising District I.
Captain Mike Smith has over 44 years of law enforcement experience. Prior to joining the Department of Financial Services in 2009, Smith worked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement where he worked a broad range of assignments, including the Governor’s security detail, financial crimes, narcotics violations and public integrity investigations. Michael also worked as a Division Inspector then later worked as a Senior Special Agent overseeing complex investigations in Florida’s Panhandle for over 20 years.
In 2009, Captain Smith joined the Department of Financial Services as a Major Case Squad Detective and eventually became the Lead Detective in Tallahassee. In January, 2016, Mike was promoted to Lieutenant of Tallahassee's General Fraud squad, and most recently was reassigned to oversee the Office of Fiscal Integrity in April of 2016.
Captain Smith holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from Florida State University and grew up near Tallahassee.
Lieutenant Sandra Fitzsimons leads the Pensacola general fraud squad in the Panhandle Region. She has been with the division for over 18 years and has worked a variety of cases including major healthcare fraud and doctor cases with the Healthcare Task Force.
Lt. Fitzsimons is a career law enforcement officer with over 24 years of experience. Prior to joining the Division of Insurance Fraud, she served six years with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. During her career there, she served in uniformed patrol, major crimes division and the SWAT team as a negotiator. In 2000, she began her career with the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud, as a detective assigned to the Pensacola office. She has been presented the prestigious "Bronze Eagle" award four times by the United States Attorney’s Office for her work with the Healthcare Task Force (2009, 2010, and twice in 2011). She also received the national "2009 Investigation of the Year" award from the National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association. She was also given the "Prudential - Davis Productivity" award in 2011 for Notable Individual Achievements and is a Certified Fraud Examiner.
Lieutenant Krista Gaston graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. Degree in Criminology. She started her Law Enforcement career with the Tallahassee Police Department in 1995. In 2001 she moved to Polk County where she joined the Lakeland Police Department as reserve officer. Krista returned to Tallahassee in 2008 and joined the Florida Supreme Court Marshal’s Office.
Krista started with the Department of Financial Services in 2013 as a Detective for the Tallahassee Regular Fraud Squad. Krista served as lead detective in that squad before being appointed Acting Lieutenant in May of 2016.
Seth Schiefer has over 22 years of sworn law enforcement experience in Florida. He started his career with the Baldwin Police Department and then spent 6 years with the Orange Park Police Department, where he was a detective. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology, from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Seth started with the Division in August of 2005 as a Detective, investigating workers’ compensation fraud. He has also served as a detective for several years with the general and auto fraud squads. He has many roles with the Division, including FTO, high liability instructor, evidence custodian, and the use of force review board. Seth has been appointed to the Lead Detective role six times and has been recognized by FIFEC twice.
Kevin Jones has more than 30 years as a sworn law enforcement officer. He came to the Division of Insurance Fraud on July 19, 2004, and has been assigned to the Jacksonville Field Office since. He was initially tasked with investigating workers’ compensation fraud; he later did general fraud and worked as a member of a mortgage task force with the FBI. He was promoted to lieutenant in April of 2010 and he currently supervises the Jacksonville office. Prior to coming to the Division, he spent more than twenty years with the New York City Police Department where he retired as a Detective Sergeant in December 2003. Before joining the NYPD, he worked for the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division where he was assigned to the White House detail. Kevin is a graduate of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and holds a Bachelors Degree in Security/Business Management.