Tallahassee man arrested for fraudulent auto insurance claims

Tallahassee man arrested for fraudulent auto insurance claims
Posted at 10:44 AM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-28 07:46:27-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee man is facing felony charges for fraud after investigators say he filed a claim about a fake car accident to pay for another accident he was at fault for.

According to a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Financial Services' Bureau of Insurance Fraud, Deandre Brownlee is accused of filing a fraudulent insurance claim that involved his car on December 11, 2016.

The investigator wrote in the complaint that on December 11, 2016, Brownlee was involved in an accident where his car hit the side of an apartment building.

According to the Tallahassee Police officer who arrived at 12:34 p.m. to file a report, no one was injured but the building suffered some minor damage. The officer also cited Brownlee as being a fault for the crash.

According to USAA Insurance records, Brownlee purchased an insurance policy just six minutes after the TPD officer arrived to the crash. 

The day after the crash, court documents say, Brownlee called USAA to tell them that the crash had happened between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., saying that the policy was started a week before the accident.

On December 14, 2016, records state that Brownlee filed a second claim, saying that logs fell off the back of a truck while he was driving in Savahan, Ga. and hit his car.

During a recorded conversation with a USAA special investigator, Brownlee admitted that he "knowingly applied for auto insurance after the auto accident on December 11, 2016" and then filed the second claim to get money for the first claim.

The investigator wrote that Brownlee stated that the second claim was fraudulent and never happened. The investigator also noted that Brownlee consented to the recorded conversation. 

Documents say that an investigator with the Florida Department of Financial Services contacted Brownlee to ask questions about the accident. Brownlee maintained his claim that the accident happened while under his insurance policy. 

However, an investigator revealed that Brownlee had given the investigator a different current address than what USAA had on file.

A U.S. Army Special Agent later informed them that Brownlee was stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. as an active duty E-1 private and that the previously listed address USAA records had for his mail was located on the base. 

Brownlee also admitted to being assigned to Hunter Army Airfield during the recorded call on December 28, 2016.

Based on the investigation above, an warrant for Brownlee's arrest was issued. 

He was taken into custody on Friday for claim fraud and application fraud, both of which are a third degree felonies. 

Brownlee has since bonded out of the Leon County Jail.