Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, June 22, 2022
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Michael DeGeorge for insurance fraud for allegedly submitting a fraudulent water damage claim and misrepresenting the facts of his losses to American International Group Property Casualty Company (AIG).
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Insurance fraud has no place in the state of Florida and my fraud detectives are working hard on behalf of Floridians to ensure that fraudsters are arrested and brought to justice. Unfortunately, it’s schemes like these that cause insurance premiums to rise and make home insurance unaffordable. As Florida’s CFO, I will not tolerate bad actors taking advantage of Florida citizens. If you are committing fraud, we will find you and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law. More fraud arrests and convictions lead to more fraud deterrence statewide. If you or someone you know is suspicious of fraud, report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
An investigation by CFO Patronis’ Bureau of Insurance Fraud revealed that on January 27, 2020, Michael DeGeorge made a homeowners claim of more than $301,000 to AIG for water damage due to a roof leak that occurred at his home on December 1, 2019. DeGeorge reported to AIG that mold was present everywhere in his house and that his family was unable to live in the residence due to the amount of mold. DeGeorge also reported that many of the items in his home were damaged from the water and the subsequent mold presence. DeGeorge informed AIG that he threw away all the items that were damaged from mold and water. AIG requested that he submit photographs of the damaged contents in lieu of a physical inspection of the items. Mr. DeGeorge complied with the request and submitted more than 300 photographs. Investigators found that the photographs were taken after DeGeorge allegedly disposed of the items, and the items were still in his possession. Some of the photos also showed that several areas of structural damage to the home occurred up to a year and a half before the reported date of loss. During the investigation, it was determined that DeGeorge allegedly made several misrepresentations as well as providing false photographs and documents in support of his claim.
Michael DeGeorge was booked into Palm Beach County Jail on June 21, 2022 and charged with Filing a False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he faces up to five years in jail. This case will be prosecuted by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office.