In Recognition of Fraud Prevention Month: CFO Jeff Atwater’s Top Dim-Witted Fraud Criminals
Contact: CFO Atwater’s Press Office
TALLAHASSEE— In recognition of Fraud Prevention Month and to continue to raise awareness of the impact of insurance fraud on Florida’s consumers, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater will be releasing the top dim-witted fraud criminals arrested by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud throughout the month of March. Although committing fraud is not a laughing matter, these cases serve as a reminder to those dishonest Floridians that if you try to cheat the system for your own personal gain, you will be caught and justice will be served.
In April 2012, Joshua Perry, 36, of Fort Myers, exited the restroom area at Rosa Parks Transportation Center, and he alleged he slipped on water on the floor and injured his ankle.
After being taken by ambulance to the hospital, he fraudulently filled out incident reports for the accident. Video surveillance obtained of the transportation center clearly shows Perry exiting the restroom with a slight limp, lying down on the floor with ease and splashing water from the fountain onto the floor to top off his fake slip and fall.
On May 4, 2012, a Notice of Intent was filed via certified mail to both the Lee County Board of County Commissioners and the Florida Department of Financial Services. A sworn statement by a risk management specialist for Lee County confirmed that the video surveillance had been reviewed and the incident appeared staged.
Joshua Perry was arrested on May 17, 2012 for filing a false insurance claim and pled guilty to insurance fraud, a third degree felony, on Sept. 19, 2012. He was sentenced to 120 days in county jail and three years probation.
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 $275,000 to more than 40 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.
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.