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Medical fraud is on the move in Florida. For years, South Florida was the preferred home for criminals staging auto accidents and then filing insurance claims for medical bills and treatment. Today, Tampa and Central Florida have become the “epicenter” of this activity, according to National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “South Florida used to be the focal point of these deliberate crashes,” Wehrle said. “While the Miami and Hialeah areas continue to show increased activity, the criminals have expanded their operation northward and Tampa is now at the epicenter of this crime trend.” That movement north was the impetus toward the opening of NICB’s newest major medical fraud task force office in the state. The new Central Florida Major Medical Fraud Task Force is located in Tampa and will focus its investigative resources in the area comprising metropolitan Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando. This includes communities in Pinellas and Pasco counties, through the communities east of Orlando to Cape Canaveral and Titusville, south of Jacksonville and north of Lake Okeechobee. The new task force had its first meeting with local member company SIUs and law enforcement on Monday and over 150 people attended. Some 13 law enforcement agencies were represented as well as prosecutors from the area.

They have their work cut out for them.

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