Ring Member Awaits Extradition From Calif. to Face Slip-and-fall Fraud Charges

January 24, 2005

A 30-year-old man wanted in Florida since 1995 on numerous felony charges for his alleged role in his family’s nationwide “slip-and-fall” insurance fraud scheme is in custody in California awaiting extradition.

Christopher Michael Evans, whose last-known Florida address was in Hollywood, was arrested Jan. 13 in Mountainview, Calif. on an unrelated charge. Evans is the fifth member of the family, including his mother, to be apprehended. Two other suspects, identified as Russell Evans and Raquel Miller, remain at large. The charges and arrests are the culmination of a lengthy investigation by Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud.

“Everyone pays for insurance fraud through increased premiums and increased costs for goods and services,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and its Division of Insurance Fraud. “This arrest shows that there is no safe haven for those who commit criminal acts against Floridians.”

Florida has consistently produced the nation’s highest number of insurance fraud arrests or convictions for each of the past several years.

Evans is accused of being involved in a scheme to bilk insurance companies out of thousands of dollars by faking accidents in businesses in several states. He is charged with racketeering, organized fraud, six counts of insurance fraud and eight counts of grand theft.

When arrested in California, Evans was using the alias Paul Frank and previously used the name Gino Ely in New York. Florida insurance fraud investigators had listed Evans with the National Association of Investigators, which gathers intelligence on groups perpetrating scams, and that is how the Mountainview police traced Evans to Florida.

The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation insurance.

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