MyFloridaCFO.com, September 28, 2023
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Angela Augustine, an insurance claims adjuster, for allegedly conducting an $11.6 million automobile insurance fraud scheme. Using access to auto insurance claims, Augustine allegedly reopened numerous claims and issued settlement checks to approximately 326 alleged co-conspirators.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It runs up insurance rates for every motorist on Florida’s roadways. It’s especially disturbing when committed by a claims adjuster entrusted with sensitive financial information. I’m thankful to my fraud detectives and the Broward County State Attorney's Office for their hard work on this case and for ensuring this scam artist is brought to justice. We will not stand by and let bad actors use your insurance policy as their personal meal ticket. They will be caught, and they will be thrown in jail.”
An investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigations and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud revealed that between December 2018 and October 2022, Angela Augustine, an insurance claims adjuster, allegedly re-opened numerous previously closed or settled claims and made approximately 1,255 fraudulent payments to approximately 326 co-conspirators for more than $11.6 million. Augustine allegedly fabricated claims on auto insurance policies creating fictitious claimants and documented fictitious scenarios, along with fake documentation, including photos and repair estimates where alleged fictitious claimants suffered damages to either vehicle or other property, to issue liability claim payments. Augustine would then allegedly adjust reserves to support the false documentation and make payments on the claim in the amount matching the falsified documentation. In furtherance of the alleged fraud, the co-conspirators would cash the fraudulent insurance proceeds at a local check-cashing store.
Augustine was booked into Broward County Jail on September 27, 2023, on charges including Scheme to Defraud, Grand Theft, and Criminal Use of Personal ID Information. She faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Additional arrests are expected. This case will be prosecuted by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office 17th Judicial Circuit.