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Atwater: Auto insurance fraudsters will be put 'behind bars'

Posted On Tue, March 15, 2011

A flood of stories regarding the epidemic levels of auto insurance fraud in Florida has most residents aware of the problem. But Jeff Atwater wants to make sure he and and the Department of Financial Services are doing all they can to root out the practice.

Writing a column in TampaBayOnline.com, Atwater says he and local law enforcement officers are "putting the brakes" on insurance fraud, by creating civil penalites for those convicted of automobile insurance fraud, requiring officers to include all passengers involved in a crash in their accident reports so claimants can't later say more people were in the vehicle and attempting to reform litigation costs, which are increasing auto insurance premiums for many.

"We will put the criminals who perpetrate [Personal Injury Protection] fraud behind bars," Atwater writes.

Earlier this month, Atwater revealed the successful results of "Operation Dark Horizon" the largest car insurance fraud bust so far this year with 25 people facing over 140 charges including racketeering, staging an accident and grand theft.

According to the NICB, Florida led the nation in the number of complaints about auto insurance fraud last year. 

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