CFO Jimmy Patronis to State Attorneys: Help Us Fight Insurance Fraud
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, in the run up to the special session on insurance reform, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced that he is issuing a letter to Florida State Attorneys to encourage them to help fight insurance fraud in the state. The CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) investigates insurance fraud and works together with prosecutors statewide to present fraud cases for successful prosecution.
Read the full letter below and here.
May 20, 2022
Dear State Attorney:
Thank you for your service and commitment to protecting the citizens of the State of Florida. While the men and women with my Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) are experts at taking fraudsters off the streets, it is dedicated prosecutors like you that ultimately bring these criminals to justice. We appreciate all that you do to keep the great state of Florida the best place in the country to live, work, and achieve the American Dream.
As you may know, insurance fraud has reached epidemic proportions in Florida. It is my top priority as your CFO to bring awareness to fraudulent activity throughout the state and to arrest those who prey on consumers. I am sympathetic to that fact that these fraud cases are complex and are competing against cases that make the front page of the paper. However, I want to underscore that insurance fraud is impacting every Florida policyholder through rate hikes as well as private carriers exiting the market.
The more our prosecutors can light a fire and prioritize these cases to hold perpetrators accountable, the more we can deter these crimes in the first place and rein in rates. This is especially important with the abuses we are seeing related to Assignment of Benefits. Unethical attorneys are colluding with public adjusters and others, and are bankrolling their guest houses on the backs of Florida policyholders. It is gross. I think you would agree that instead of enjoying fine foods and drinks, every-single-one-of-them should be in jail.
We simply cannot win the war against insurance fraud without your help, and failure is not an option. That is why to better support your efforts, we stood up two teams along the I-4 Corridor to focus on homeowners insurance fraud. In the upcoming special session, we are proposing to create three more teams in Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We want to get prosecutors more engaged to reduce the amount of insurance fraud taking place in Florida. We encourage you to work proactively with my office and the industry so that we can put more bad actors out of business and protect more Floridians in the process. More arrests lead to more convictions, which leads to deterrence. To support your efforts, officials from my office will be reaching out to your office to set up meetings so we can better coordinate holding fraudsters accountable.
These fraudsters are stealing from us all and I would love to hear more about how we can work together to combat fraud in your community and provide Florida families with a safer future. Thank you again for your commitment to protecting our state.
Chief Financial Officer & State Fire Marshal
Florida Department of Financial Services