Sometimes, personal hardships move people to commit white-collar crimes that they would not even have considered if times were not so tough and their survival was not challenged. Such circumstances might have led to the insurance fraud committed by an elementary school principal in Florida. The chief financial officer of Florida says the man filed false claims with State Farm Insurance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma that hit Florida in 2017.
According to court documents, the principal was entitled to file insurance claims for repairs to his home after the damaged caused by the hurricane. However, investigations show that he altered two of the invoices that he submitted with his claims and fabricated a third one. It is alleged that the man attempted to fraudulently obtain reimbursement to the value of $16,000 from the insurance provider without being able to substantiate his claims’ legitimacy.
The chief financial officer says the accused man was uncooperative at first but later admitted to investigators that he committed fraud. New reports indicate that the principal has been reassigned to off-campus duties by the school system of the county, pending the investigation’s outcome. Authorities say a conviction could send the accused man to prison for five years.
Being accused of crimes like insurance fraud can have a devastating impact on a person’s career and reputation, even before he or she has appeared in court. However, anyone in Florida who is accused of crimes will remain innocent in the eyes of the law until, and if, the prosecution can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The best thing any accused individual can do is to retain the services of an experienced attorney as soon as possible to make sure his or her legal rights are not violated.