An alleged murder conspiracy in Tallahassee has spun off charges of insurance fraud.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has leveled three felony counts against Denise Williams, accused in the death of her husband, Mike Williams, nearly 20 years ago.
“The Williams case is a tragedy that has shocked the Tallahassee community and reverberated across the nation,” Patronis said in a statement. “The insurance fraud charges are just one part of this case, and I assure the community we will work diligently toward a successful prosecution.”
“Insurance fraud is a very serious crime … It’s especially disturbing when an individual is attempting to profit off someone’s death. I am proud of our dedicated insurance fraud team for their commitment to bringing criminals to justice.”
An investigation by the state Division of Investigative and Forensic Service concluded that Denise Williams fraudulently listed her husband’s death as accidental drowning on insurance claims forms involving three policies when she knew the cause was homicide. She collected $1.75 million.
Brian Winchester, Mike William’s best friend, has turned state’s evidence and has testified that he plotted with Denise Williams kill her husband.
He told investigators he first tried to drown Mike Williams in Lake Seminole, and shot him when that didn’t work. He subsequently married the widow, but the marriage ended in divorce.