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DFS Pays $25,000 in Rewards to Florida "Fraud Busters"

2/28/2003

CONTACT: Tami Torres or
Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE – A total of $25,000 in reward money has been paid to two Floridians for providing information and assistance leading to the arrest and conviction of insurance fraud perpetrators, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today.

"We want to reward citizens for getting involved and helping to stop insurance fraud," Gallagher said. "Floridians should not have to pay for schemes that drive up the cost of insurance coverage."

In September 2002, David Samer, 1516 Lake Drive in Delray Beach, was arrested on five counts of insurance fraud, one count of grand theft, second degree and one count of grand theft, third degree. He later pleaded no contest to submitting numerous fraudulent claims for stolen property including a 2000 GMC Jimmy, two corvettes, a sport fishing boat, and a private plane worth an estimated $140,000. Thanks to an informant's help a total loss of more than $250,000 in fraudulent insurance claims was prevented. For her part, the Delray Beach woman received a $10,000 reward.

The second recipient, who received $15,000, was influential in the arrest and sentencing of Thomas Torok, owner of the South Florida-based Cedar Shake Supply, Inc., and Regency Roofing. In December of 2002, Torok was sentenced to 10 years probation and was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution to three insurance companies. Thanks to assistance from the anonymous informant, fraud investigators learned that Torok had misclassified his employees' duties at his roofing business, resulting in a miscalculation of more than $1 million in workers' compensation premiums owed since 1997, and the potential to leave his workers unprotected in the event of an on-the-job injury.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation. Anyone with information about possible fraud schemes should call the department's fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.