Fla. CFO releasing top "dim-witted" fraud cases for fraud prevention month

Slip and Fall
Posted at 1:02 PM, Mar 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-11 09:27:43-04

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.

The case of Joshua Perry is the first arrest released by Atwater's office. In April 2012, Perry, a 36-year-old Fort Myers resident, exited the restroom area at Rosa Parks Transportation Center.  He said that he slipped on water on the floor and injured his ankle. After being taken by ambulance to the hospital, he filled out incident reports for the accident.

However, officials say he fraudulently filled out those forms. Video surveillance from the transportation center shows Perry leaving the restroom with a slight limp, laying down on the floor  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.

Perry was arrested on May 17, 2012 for filing a false insurance claim and pleaded 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.

In a release, Atwater writes, "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."