Florida Witness Rewards in Lee and Cates Fraud Investigation Were Based on Assistance Provided, According to State Officials
February 3, 2011

The recent rewards provided to three Florida "witnesses" for assistance in the fraud investigation filed against Lee and Cates Glass were calculated based on the amount of assistance each provided, according to Nina Ashley, communications coordinator for the Department of Financial Services. The awards totaled $25,000 and were given alongside several other rewards given to tipsters as part of a state program.

"The anti-fraud reward program is promulgated by statute s. 626.9892, FS, Administrative Rule 69D-1 and DIF policy 218," says Banister. "These govern the criteria and requirements of the program. The rule sets the guidelines for the reward amounts, which are based on the amount of the potential or actual loss … "

Banister advised she could not reveal the identity of those rewarded in the Lee and Cates case, but did say they were not employees of an insurance company.

"Insurance company employees are exempt from the reward program because by Florida law they are required to report insurance fraud," she says. "The tip providers in the Lee and Cates case requested anonymity."

Banister adds that the amount awarded is capped at $25,000 per case—the total amount given in this particular investigation—and that the funds come from "annual legislative allocation."

According to the original announcement from the state, one of the witnesses against Lee and Cates will be paid $15,000, one will receive $8,750 and the other $1,250.

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