Sweep Results with 19 Arrests for Staged Accidents

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Nineteen people have been caught this month in a statewide sweep of people staging accidents for insurance money.

Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink made the announcement Monday, saying the arrests were made in Ft. Myers, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tampa and West Palm Beach. The claims were filed under personal injury protection coverage, automobile insurance that pays medical expenses, and lost wages in some cases, due to accidents regardless of whose at fault.

Statistics show that personal injury fraud is the most reported type of fraud, accounting for 30 percent of all referrals received last fiscal year. Since July, investigators have arrested 259 people for such fraud.

Insurance fraud is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.


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