TALLAHASSEE – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the conviction of Yarden Lee Bracero, 39, a former Allstate employee in Jacksonville for diverting claims payments for her own personal use. Bracero pled guilty to one count of scheme to defraud and three counts of identity theft and was sentenced to a mandatory three years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution.
“Fraud schemes like these impact Floridians throughout the state by driving up our insurance rates,” CFO Atwater said. “I applaud our investigator and industry partners for tracking down this fraudster and bringing her to justice.”
An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud and the Allstate internal investigation unit revealed that Bracero used her position as a Benefits Operation Analyst to create false claim information and divert funds from individual critical illness insurance policies to her own personal bank accounts. Some of the policies included employees of Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Bracero submitted false claims on the five policies using Allstate claim forms and altered the names on medical diagnosis claim documentation from other valid Allstate policies in support of the scheme.
The charges against Bracero were prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Joe Licandro of the 4th Judicial Circuit in Jacksonville.
Anyone with information of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $342,000 to more than 50 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses and providing transparency and accountability in state spending.