RD134 - 2018 Annual Report on the Insurance Fraud Program
I am pleased to present the Insurance Fraud Program’s (IFP) annual report for calendar year 2018. Since 1999, the IFP has been charged with determining the scope of Virginia’s insurance fraud problem and developing resources to prevent and prosecute insurance fraud crimes statewide.
Since the IFP was established, the insurance industry, law enforcement and private citizens have submitted more than 2,000 notifications of suspected insurance fraud.
This year, the IFP will progress into its twentieth year of fighting insurance fraud on behalf of Virginians. Working alongside law enforcement and commonwealth’s attorneys to investigate and prosecute insurance fraud cases, remain the cornerstone of the IFP’s successful tenure.
Insurance fraud is constantly evolving due to the high-tech society in which we live. Which means our approach to detect and prevent fraud has to continuously progress. Through our partnerships with the insurance industry, prosecutors and Commonwealth Attorney’s, the IFP continues to make significant strides against the crime of insurance fraud. More than $3,665,817 in fraudulent insurance claims were collected in Virginia in 2018.
The IFP has a continued commitment to the Commonwealth in investing in technology, and research and data collection. The Department continues to hire dedicated employees as we develop their knowledge, skills and abilities on emerging trends in insurance fraud. We also continue to improve our public education programs as a key component of our anti-fraud strategy. In 2018, there were 886 investigations initiated and $13,566,013 in attempted insurance fraud claims, both increases from 2017. There was a total of $87,726 in restitution for 2018.
In addition to the significant strides made in our investigative efforts, the IFP continued to make progress on the administrative side. Through support from the Virginia General Assembly, four positions were approved to bring on special prosecutors who focus on insurance fraud in Virginia. These special prosecutor positions are located in Richmond, Salem, Tidewater and the Northern Virginia region. In order to strengthen Department operations and enhance program services, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Support Services Division was created and the IFP, along with four other programs, are now positioned under the newly created division. To support the restructuring of programs, we welcomed new leadership. Captain Norman E. Gray Sr. was promoted to serve as the Division Commander and First Sergeant Thomas J. Molnar was promoted to serve as the new program coordinator for the IFP and Help Eliminate Auto Theft (HEAT) program. We have also continued to expand the program’s marketing efforts through our contract with Charles Ryan Associates (CRA).
The IFP has remained steadfast in combating emerging trends in insurance fraud year after year. Citizens can join law enforcement in pushing back against insurance fraud. Anyone with knowledge of suspected insurance fraud can submit an anonymous tip by visiting http://StampOutFraud.com or calling (877) 62-FRAUD. Tips that lead to arrests can potentially earn an award of up to $25,000.
Difficult and ongoing is the fight against fraud, but with the help of IFP special agents and analysts, the insurance industry, commonwealth’s attorneys and citizens, together we can Stamp Out Fraud. Nineteen years later, the IFP is still pushing ahead to reach new heights in the fight against insurance fraud. We‘ve accomplished a lot and I am eager to see what we can do in the decades to come.
/s/ Colonel Gary T. Settle