Port St. Lucie police say when they went to look for Larry Grissom's reported stolen car in June, there was no sign of it.
The original stolen car report shows Grissom left the unlocked car with the keys inside parked in the driveway at their home. That night, someone stole it from his own driveway. "We had 2 people saying their car was stolen in the middle of the night from their driveway. Its not unheard of, so we started investigating it," Sabol said.
But the stolen Pontiac Grand Prix was located submerged in a canal alongside a western Palm City canal on Citrus Boulevard.
Tips led police to figure out the driver who put it here was Larry himself.
Police say the 44-year-old Grissom admitted to crashing the car then filing a false insurance claim, and making up that it was stolen.
State Statute regarding fraud: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0800-0899/0817/Sections/0817.234.html
It costs police agencies money to investigate. It costs the insurance company money and it costs consumers money when you go to pay your bill.
"Instead of calling the police when it happened he called his mom to come get him," Sgt. Sabol said.
Larry's mother, Linda Grissom, now faces felony fraud charges for allegedly helping her son.
According to the State Department of Insurance Fraud, this case just one of 15,447 suspected insurance frauds, now under investigation.
A tougher Florida insurance fraud law requires those convicted of filing false claims to pay back every agency, every cost, and every insurance company payment plus fines.
Those fines begin at $5,000.
If convicted of felony fraud, the suspects could face up to 15 years in prison.
From the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud:
Fiscal Year 2013 Statistics
- 15,447 Suspected Fraud Referrals
- 1,571 Arrests
- 1,670 Cases Presented for Prosecution
- 1,079 Convictions
- $59,126,274.53 in Restitution Requested
- $112,115,575.53 in Court Ordered Restitution
- DIF had a record breaking year with 1,571 arrests being made
- DIF showed a significant 31 percent increase in PIP arrests from 496 last fiscal year to 651 PIP arrests this year
- DIF received 1,079 convictions resulting in over $112 million in court ordered restitution
- DIF responded to thousands of suspected insurance fraud tips, over half of these referrals were related to PIP fraud