CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Serial Fraudster in Central Florida

MyFloridaCFO, February 1, 2023

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Jeremy Dewitte on charges of Deposit Check with Intent to Defraud, False and Fraudulent Motor Vehicle Insurance Application, Sexual Offender Fail to Register Insurance Vehicle, False and Fraudulent Motor Vehicle Insurance Application, False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim Under $20,000, Communications Fraud Over $300, Staged Crash, False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim Under $20,000, Communications Fraud Over $300, and Scheme to Defraud Under $20,000.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Fraud is never a victimless crime, and serial fraudsters can set us all back financially, raising the insurance costs of law-abiding Floridians statewide. When our detectives catch someone committing fraud, we often learn of other crimes the perpetrator has committed. My goal as CFO is to always bring justice in these cases and get us one step closer to a fraud free Florida by removing these morally compromised individuals from the streets. Thank you to all of our DIFS detectives who help make that a reality and serve justice in our communities."

The Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) opened a case on Dewitte after seeing a video where he confessed to not having a commercial motor vehicle license for his fleet of marked funeral escort vehicles. After beginning an investigation into Dewitte for Application Fraud, DIFS looked further into his history of insurance claims, finding several dozen claims involving Dewitte and his business. It was then determined that three of Dewitte's claims were fraudulent.

Additionally, as a registered sexual offender, Dewitte was required to register the vehicles he was insured to drive, which he failed to do within the required two days. DIFS also interviewed multiple individuals who believe that Dewitte purposefully crashed one of his vehicles so he could file an insurance claim and receive funds from the crash. Additionally, these interviews revealed that Dewitte deposited a check from a neighboring business and refused to provide a refund.

Jeremy Dewitte was arrested on January 19, 2023, and booked into the Orange County Jail. He's currently incarcerated on unrelated charges; he will face up to 75 years in prison if convicted on the new charges presented.

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