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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/24/18-More than 125 insurance agents from across Florida, along with members of the Consumer Protection Coalition (CPC), march to the Florida Capitol on Wednesday to highlight the need for Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reform.

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Charges filed in alleged insurance fraud scheme involving AOB agreements

A contractor is facing charges in an alleged $140,000 assignment of benefits scam that targeted 19 homeowners.

The Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud named Timothy Matthew Cox, who operated Nationwide Catastrophe Services Inc. and Restoration Response Services Inc.

“Criminals who prey on Florida families after a hurricane or tropical storm are some of the worst we see,” Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said in a written statement.

“This type of fraud has skyrocketed and impacts all Florida consumers. One of my first actions I took as your CFO was to create Florida’s Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team to go after this type of fraud,” Patronis said. “With more than 100 ongoing investigations statewide, we are coming for anyone who takes advantage of our residents during vulnerable times.”

The scam involved taking insurance money under AOB agreements for repairs Cox never began in Brevard, Clay, Escambia, Flagler, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, and also in Texas, following tropical storms and hurricanes, Patronis’ office said.

Instead, officials said, he deposited the money into bank accounts he controlled for his personal use.

Cox was booked into the Polk County Jail on June 5 on multiple counts of grand theft and racketeering; he could face up to 30 years behind bars. The Office of Statewide Prosecution is bringing the charges.

Patronis urged homeowners who have experienced or witnessed such fraud to call his Fraud Tip Hotline at 800-378-0445. They can remain anonymous if they choose.

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