FL Claims Adjuster Arrested for Alleged $11.6M Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme
Written by Autobody News Staff
Published Oct. 2, 2023
Angela Augustine, an insurance claims adjuster in Broward County, FL, was arrested for allegedly conducting an $11.6 million auto insurance fraud scheme, allegedly re-opening numerous claims and issuing settlement checks to approximately 326 alleged co-conspirators.
An investigation revealed between December 2018 and October 2022, Augustine allegedly re-opened previously closed or settled claims and made approximately 1,255 fraudulent payments to co-conspirators for more than $11.6 million.
Augustine allegedly fabricated claims on insurance policies, creating fictitious claimants and scenarios, along with fake documentation, including photos and repair estimates where fictitious claimants suffered damages to either vehicle or other property, to issue liability claim payments.
Augustine would then allegedly adjust reserves to support the false documentation and make payments on the claim in the amount matching the falsified documentation. The co-conspirators would cash the fraudulent insurance proceeds at a local check-cashing store.
Augustine was booked into Broward County Jail on Sept. 27 on charges including scheme to defraud, grand theft and criminal use of personal ID information. She faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Additional arrests are expected.
The case was investigated by the CFO’s Division of Investigations and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud, and will be prosecuted by the Broward County State Attorney’s Office 17th Judicial Circuit.
The arrest was announced Sept. 28 by Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis. “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It runs up insurance rates for every motorist on Florida’s roadways," Patronis said. "It’s especially disturbing when committed by a claims adjuster entrusted with sensitive financial information."