Wanted: Fraud buster

Florida’s chief financial officer has launched a nationwide search for an experienced and talented law enforcement official to lead the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).

The government said Coalition Against Insurance Fraud numbers show Floridians pay an additional $1,400 in insurance costs each year due to fraud.

“We’re looking for a highly motivated law enforcement official to lead our nationally recognized team of insurance fraud detectives,” CFO Alex Sink said. “We’re going to strengthen our efforts to crack down on this growing crime in our state.”

DIF is one of 40 state anti-fraud bureaus and one of 32 with police powers.

The state said DIF is also directly responsible for annual court-awarded restitution to insurance fraud victims averaging more than $100 million a year.

The fraud division, as the law enforcement arm of the Department of Financial Services, is responsible for investigating crimes associated with insurance claim fraud, insurance premium fraud, workers’ compensation claim fraud, workers’ compensation premium avoidance and diversions, insurer insolvency fraud, unauthorized insurance entity fraud and insurance agent crimes.

The division’s investigators also investigate viatical application fraud, defalcations of escrow funds held in trust by title insurance firms and non-Medicaid-related health care fraud.

Earlier this month, Sink promoted former DIF Director Eric Miller to deputy chief financial officer. John Askins is serving as acting director of DIF.