By Ryan Yousefi
A Coral Springs woman faces first-degree grand theft charges after being discovered at the center of an elaborate $11 million insurance fraud scheme.
Angela Marie Augustine, 41, who lives in Ramblewood at the 8700 block of Northwest 18th Court, was arrested for participating in an alleged massive automobile insurance fraud scheme that spanned several years and involved numerous co-conspirators.
Augustine, who worked as a claims adjuster, was arrested by state investigators on Wednesday and now faces several charges related to the alleged $11.6 million hustle.
The investigation, conducted by the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, reportedly unveiled a complex web of fraudulent activities orchestrated by Augustine. According to authorities, Augustine made 1,255 fraudulent payments to at least 326 co-conspirators between December 2018 and October 2022.
The elaborate scheme involved Augustine reopening numerous previously closed or settled claims, breathing life into them, and collecting fraudulent payments. She allegedly would then fabricate claims on auto insurance policies, inventing fictitious claimants and concocting imaginary scenarios.
To further cement these fictitious claims, she fabricated documentation, including photos and repair estimates, portraying the alleged fictitious claimants as having suffered damages to their vehicles or other property.
These fraudulent actions ultimately aimed to issue liability claim payments based on the falsified documentation. Augustine would adjust reserves to support the false documentation and make payments on the claim amounts that matched the fabricated evidence.
According to records, her co-conspirators would cash in on the fraudulent insurance proceeds at a local check-cashing store. Law enforcement is expected to make additional arrests.
Upon concluding their extensive investigation, authorities arrested Augustine on multiple charges, including scheme to defraud, grand theft, and criminal use of personal information.
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It runs up insurance rates for every motorist on Florida’s roadways. It’s especially disturbing when committed by a claims adjuster entrusted with sensitive financial information,” Office of State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said in a news release Thursday.
“I’m thankful to my fraud detectives and the Broward County State Attorney’s Office for their hard work on this case and for ensuring this scam artist is brought to justice.”
He added: “We will not stand by and let bad actors use your insurance policy as their meal ticket. They will be caught, and they will be thrown in jail.”
She has been released on $52,500 bond. If convicted, Augustine could face up to 55 years behind bars.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiple outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
- Crime & SafetyDecember 7, 2023Following Road Rage Incident, Victim Endures Two Weeks of Intimidation and Over 62,000 Robocalls from Aggressor
- EventsDecember 7, 2023Shop on a Budget at the Seized Asset Auction on December 10
- EventsDecember 5, 202311th Annual ‘Light Up The Night’ Holiday Celebration Held on December 7
- Crime & SafetyDecember 1, 2023Coral Springs Police Issue Urgent Warning In Response to Rising Check Theft