Insurance fraud that led to SRSO deputy's firing was over falsifying car insurance coverage
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Insurance Fraud (BIF), the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's deputy who was fired and arrested Tuesday night allegedly lied to his car insurance company about his vehicle claim.
The now-former deputy Corey Jones was relieved of duty and subsequently arrested and charged with insurance fraud under $20,000 on Tuesday after the BIF concluded an investigation that found Jones allegedly committed insurance fraud against the USAA Insurance Company between Sept. 17 and Sept. 27.
"There is probable cause to believe that Corey Michael Jones did, on Sept. 12, 2022, in Santa Rosa County, knowingly and intentionally commit insurance fraud by presenting false, incomplete or misleading information ... by concealing the fact his vehicle had been involved in the claimed traffic crash prior to the inception of the policy," the BIF probable cause affidavit states.
The charge is a third-degree felony and is punishable up to five years in state prison, according to Florida Statute 775.082.
Jones was involved in a traffic crash on Sept. 17 in his Chrysler Town and Country van at 11:58 a.m., according to the report, but he allegedly called USAA approximately 17 minutes later to add his van to his insurance policy.
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While on a recorded line with USAA, Jones said he was "in an accident and Jones wanted to make sure the vehicle was covered" on Sept. 17 even though he "stated the insurance card showed the effective date of Sept. 18." Later, at 1:52 p.m. Jones filed an insurance claim on the Town and Country van.
On Sept. 20, Jones called USAA again and allegedly stated he added the Town and Country van early in the day on Sept. 17, updating the insurance policy prior to the crash.
On Sept. 27, USAA Insurance Special Investigator Bryan Chandler conducted a recorded phone interview where Jones said his fiancée and grandmother bought the van in April, and he told Chandler that he assumed the two provided proper insurance since they received the vehicle's registration in the mail a few days later.
During the same call, Chandler stated, "OK, and you are confirming for me on this recording that you were not already involved in this accident on the side of the road when you logged on and added coverage to this vehicle?"
Jones replied, "No, sir."
Later in the call, Chandler told Jones "it sounds like at this point, what you're telling me is that you knowingly provided false or incorrect information to the presentation of this claim."
Jones' response to the statement was redacted.
After further investigation, Jones was arrested and booked into Santa Rosa County Jail Tuesday at 5 p.m. He was released the same day at 9:15 p.m. on $2,500 bond.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: SRSO deputy fired, charged with insurance fraud for vehicle claim