CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – State investigators arrested a Coral Springs woman Wednesday after accusing her of leading a massive automobile insurance fraud scheme while working as a claims adjuster.
According to the office of state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, whose Bureau of Insurance Fraud investigated the case, Angela Marie Augustine made 1,255 fraudulent payments to at least 326 co-conspirators in the $11.6 million hustle.
In a news release Thursday, authorities said between December 2018 and October 2022, Augustine, 41, “re-opened numerous previously closed or settled claims.”
They said Augustine “fabricated claims on auto insurance policies creating fictitious claimants and documented fictitious scenarios, along with fake documentation, including photos and repair estimates where alleged fictitious claimants suffered damages to either vehicle or other property, to issue liability claim payments.”
She would then “adjust reserves to support the false documentation and make payments on the claim in the amount matching the falsified documentation. In furtherance of the alleged fraud, the co-conspirators would cash the fraudulent insurance proceeds at a local check-cashing store,” investigators said.
Following their probe, investigators arrested Augustine on charges including scheme to defraud, grand theft and criminal use of personal information.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It runs up insurance rates for every motorist on Florida’s roadways. It’s especially disturbing when committed by a claims adjuster entrusted with sensitive financial information,” Patronis said in a news release Thursday. “I’m thankful to my fraud detectives and the Broward County State Attorney’s Office for their hard work on this case and for ensuring this scam artist is brought to justice.”
He added: “We will not stand by and let bad actors use your insurance policy as their personal meal ticket. They will be caught, and they will be thrown in jail.”
Officials expect to make additional arrests.
Augustine faces up to 55 years behind bars, officials said. She was no longer listed in Broward County jail records as of Thursday afternoon.
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