Released By Florida Department of Financial Services
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Lanfranco Palman, a Kissimmee elementary school teacher, on multiple felony charges including insurance fraud and organized scheme to defraud for allegedly staging a fake car accident in a local Publix parking lot. Palman claimed to have been hit by a vehicle as he was walking in front of the grocery store but witnesses later testified that he allegedly jumped or fell onto the hood of a stopped car.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “In 2018, there were 9,300 pedestrian crashes and of those, an estimated 25 percent were staged. Staged automobile accidents happen too often in Florida, and they drive up car insurance rates for honest motorists. I’m working to protect your hard-earned money from people who scam the system to make a quick buck at your expense.”
An investigation by CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives revealed Palman was allegedly never struck by the vehicle as he claimed, and two independent witnesses testified the vehicle was stopped at the time, allowing Palman to cross the lane of traffic. Witnesses said that while passing in front of the vehicle, Palman allegedly fell or jumped onto the hood of the car.
On August 12, 2016, Palman filed an insurance claim with Auto Owners Insurance Company for injuries he claimed to have sustained because he was hit by the vehicle. The insurance company was later billed a total of $15,475.80 for his fraudulent treatment.
Palman was arrested and booked into Osceola County Jail on charges of Organized Scheme to Defraud, a 2nd degree felony, false and fraudulent insurance claim (Intentional Motor Vehicle Crash), a 2nd degree felony, and filing a false and fraudulent insurance claim, a 3rd degree felony.
If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison.