Author Archives: Keith Hernandez

Autonomous Vehicles’ Movement Towards the Mainstream

There have been many significant advances in autonomous vehicle technology around the world. Among those was a bill that was recently passed in Florida, allowing AV systems to operate on the streets without a human driver. Safety is among the main factors driving and slowing down the development of AV technology.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of serious auto accidents are due to human error. However, autonomous vehicles have some of the same issues that people encounter. AV technology can be affected by weather, road markings, etc. that confuses the AV cameras and lasers, making it difficult to navigate certain areas.

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Filed under Autonomous Vehicles

Williston Hospital Being Investigated for Fraud

Williston’s Regional General Hospital has been allegedly involved in a $57 million fraud scheme with Jacksonville businessman Kyle Marcotte. Marcotte ran a urine testing operation which used Regional General and another hospital to bill insurance companies. Marcotte has agreed to plead guilty on charges of money laundering.

Regional General lost its hospital license but still operates a clinical lab. The hospital is now being investigated for fraud in connection with Marcotte’s charges and an unnamed person who “exercised control” over the hospital.

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Filed under Fraud

Cape Coral Roofing Company Accused of Taking Money and Not Completing Work

According to WINK News of Fort Myers, FL, twenty-four people are accusing Campbell Roofing and Sheet Metal of Cape Coral of taking deposits for roofing jobs, starting the work and abandoning the jobs. In some cases, the roofer never started the job at all.

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Filed under Fraud

Kissimmee School Teacher Arrested for Staged Accident Scheme

Kissimmee elementary school teacher, Lanfranco Palman, is facing three felony charges for allegedly faking being hit by a car to defraud his insurance company. The staged accident occurred at a grocery store in 2016 where Palman claimed he was hit by a vehicle, but witnesses say he fell onto the hood after the car had stopped.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Orlando Woman Arrested for Arson and Burning to Defraud

Tondra Shenika Roberts was arrested for allegedly setting her car on fire on Christmas Eve. According to police reports, Roberts said the vehicle was supposed to be repossessed and she left the keys inside in case someone showed up to take it.

Investigators found the key in the ignition of the abandoned car as well as a box of matches on the driver’s seat and an empty Heineken bottle with a paper towel inside of it. Lab reports from the car came back positive for gasoline. Roberts said she filed an insurance claim for the damage.

Roberts is facing felony charges of arson and burning to defraud an insurer.

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Filed under Fraud

Drone and Aerial Imagery Key in the Wake of 2018 Natural Disasters

According to the Insurance Journal, drones and aerial imagery have become very important to the insurance industry as a result of natural catastrophes, particularly in the southeast region of the U.S. Drones allowed insurers to capture the impact of our most recent hurricanes and immediately get to work as claims poured in.

The use of drone imagery of the impacted hurricane areas increased by eight times between mid-August and mid-October 2018 compared with the same period in 2017.

It has become an integral part of claim handlers’ workflow along with the other processes that are already in place.

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Filed under Insurance Claims

Kendall Man Arrested for Bogus Boat Accident Insurance Claim

Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Insurance Fraud investigators arrested Jose Alberto Vargas for allegedly attempting to defraud Boat U.S. out of $14,000. Vargas filed a false claim for a grounded 1993 Mako boat and willfully deceived his insurance company and submitted misleading information regarding the ownership, dates and damage to his boat.

Vargas submitted his false claim on May 31, 2015, a few days after a mechanic saw Vargas’ boat at Tavernier Creek Marina and found that the engine was full of water and one cylinder was bad. Investigators also found that Vargas’ father was the owner of the boat at the time of the “accident” and did not transfer ownership to his son until August of that year.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Telemedicine Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Scott Gregory Roix, owner of the telemedicine company HealthRight, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud. Roix and his four alleged conspirators, Florida and Texas pharmacists and pharmacy owners are accused of submitting fraudulent insurance claims for more than $930 million.

Healthright made a lot of money illegally selling suspect, inexpensive drugs like weight-loss pills, skin creams and testosterone supplements at inflated prices. Roix’s company also obstructed doctor-patient relationships with telemarketers posing as “medical personnel.” HealthRight hid drug sales to the partner pharmacies by accounting for the payments as “marketing services.”

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud

Travelers Advocates Current Auto Insurance System for Autonomous Vehicles

Travelers Institute released a white paper expressing their view on autonomous vehicles (AVs) and the role the auto insurance industry should play in addressing the significant policy questions and challenges that will inevitably arise in the future. An insurer that has been around for more than 160 years, Travelers applauds the safety advances of AVs and believes that the current auto system can accommodate AVs and non-AVs.

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Filed under auto insurance, Autonomous Technology

Deltona Man Charged With Arson in Insurance Fraud Scheme

Brian Lee Caswell of Deltona was arrested and charged with second-degree arson, arson resulting in injury, burning to defraud an insurer, giving false information to a law enforcement officer and making a false police report.

According to Caswell’s arrest warrant, he had hatched a plan with Alex Spivey of Orlando and Melinda Philbrook of Lady Lake to destroy their truck and collect an insurance payout. Caswell initially claimed the vehicle had been stolen, but later admitted planning the scheme after co-conspirator Spivey caught fire during the arson.

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Filed under auto insurance, Auto Insurance Fraud, Florida, Fraud, Insurance, Insurance Claims, Insurance Defense, Insurance Fraud