BY Joseph Matos, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud | December 23, 2022
The 2022 Annual Conference is now in the record books and what a gathering it was. Closing out the year with a magical wave of first-time moments for the Coalition was nothing less than spectacular. Breaking another attendance record as we continue to grow and provide world class content to our elite fraud fighting members. We appreciate and thank our sponsors for this incredible event. An amazing accomplishment was announced as we now have 42 new members that joined in 2022 alone, making our numbers reach an impressive 281 members in total.
The two-day event began with the ever-popular reception that was held in the beautiful Sky View terrace inside the hotel with a lovely view of the night-time sky above the hotel’s glass ceiling. The air was filled with jazz music performed by a live musician whose voice wrapped the evening event in a silky aroma of holiday pleasantry. A special guest visit from Santa was a treat for members who not only took a photo with jolly St. Nick, but received their very new Coalition 30th Anniversary pin as well. The pins were worn proudly by many at the event.
The evening festivities included delicious edible selections that were devoured as Coalition members engaged in reconnecting with old friends while making new ones throughout the night. Conversation quickly turned to business which is not surprising as everyone’s main goal is to share, collaborate and increase each other’s knowledge in order to stay ahead of the curve. The breakfast recapped that amazing night with a stellar collection of photos of our members who continued discussing valuable ideas and meeting new colleagues in the process. Many were seen smiling and laughing as they sat enjoying their morning meals before the beginning of the conference.
Once the conference began, all eyes were on Coalition Co-Chair Michelle Rafeld as she called the meeting to order for 2022. Michelle commanded the stage, capturing the attention of each one of our record-breaking attendees. An amazing 17 presenters were lined up to provide their unique information created to give the audience an extra boost of knowledge to help in their abilities to fight Insurance fraud.
Coalition Co-Chair Dave Rioux was introduced by Michelle to provide the Executive Committee Report in which he provided a very eloquent delivery to keep everyone up to date and shared the 2022 Look Back video.
Coalition Officer, Michelle Rafeld and Executive Committee Members, Jim Brown and Steve Piper were re-elected. We thanked and said goodbye to Bill Newton for his service as Secretary, which Brenda Cude, PhD Professor emeritus at the University of Georgia has now taken over that role and Matthew J. Smith, Esq. was renewed as the Executive Director of the Coalition. All very well deserved, congratulations to all.
The Treasurer’s Report
Heidi Krumenauer delivered her 2022 Treasurer’s Report to the membership, keeping everyone up to date on the financial status of the Coalition, which is strong and vibrant which has and will continue to allow the Coalition to do the amazing work alongside its members.
An amazing year of “firsts!”
As mentioned earlier, this was an end of year event that contained many firsts and will truly be remembered as a pivotal moment in Coalition history. It was announced that the Coalition was joined by three amazing organizations which indeed beefed up the collective strength of the organization and its value in the Insurance fraud fighting industry.
The “first” was the announcement of the California Labor Commissioner joining, and a presentation given by Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower was impressive and well worth the listen as she spoke about some of the situations that her and her office cleaned up in her state in reference to companies abusing their workers and taking advantage of them via workers’ compensation fraud. It is very sad that this occurs, but we are certainly resting better knowing that the Commissioner is on the job.
The second “first” was the announcement that the Coalition now has its first union organization, The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America represented by Matthew Capece. Even though the Coalition has been in communication with the heads of the union over the years, it was not until the very successful Workers’ Comp Webinar in which the report was shared with registered attendees that the Union decided to be a part of the Coalition’s great collective force. As their union fights workers’ compensation fraud, they truly felt that being a part of the Coalition made complete sense. The Coalition is very ecstatic and enthusiastic about the future with the union in the many years ahead.
The third “first” is an international one. Maxence Bizien, Director of the organization ALFA is the very first international anti-fraud partner of the Coalition. His presentation to our members displayed the efforts and strategies that are being implemented in Paris as they fight against insurance fraud, many of our members commented on the fascination of similarities and the slight variations in tactics but that none the less they felt the connection to what they are also facing and executing. Maxence has been embraced by the Coalition members and we look forward to working together as our relationship deepens. This we sense will be one of many world organizations to connect with the Coalition in the future.
Matthew Smith delivered his Legal Update report which is a meeting favorite, he gave the audience a very detailed recap of the cases, issues and challenges that have been happening across the fraud fighting landscape and the efforts being put forth by the Coalition.
As the Coalition meetings are known for, our hard-working committee chairs took to the stage to inform attendees of the Coalition’s most recent government, legal, public outreach and research activities.
Brent Walker presented on the Government Affairs Committee which has been incredibly influential throughout 2022. Currently, 36 new anti-fraud laws were enacted, and 193 bills were filed this year. The plans 2023 are a listing of more than a dozen key legislative initiatives which have been developed by the committee and submitted to the Coalition’s Executive Committee for final adoption.
Ross Silverman discussed the primary focus this year which has been to support the amicus program. Through that important program, the Coalition has filed several “friend of the court” briefs in pending litigation advocating legal positions that advance the Coalition’s mission. This past year the Coalition participated in a record number of cases and the Legal Affairs Committee played an important role in this effort along with the Coalition’s Amicus Committee.
Tom Donahue and Joseph Matos presented on how Public Outreach continues to be a top priority with the goal of educating, partnering with organizations and assisting members to reach consumers about insurance fraud and discouraging their acceptance or participation in the act. The new top 10 Hall of Shamers were presented to all. The Coalition captured the covers of CLM, IASIU magazine along with a featured article on the new Cost of Insurance Fraud in America. The Coalition continues to work with Curve Media, a production company in the United Kingdom that selects sensational insurance fraud stories for their long running program called Claimed and Shamed. PhotoFax has delivered the last installment of Steve the Fraudster that will live on our website.
Co-Chair Dave Rioux reported on the Research Committee and how it remains vital in assisting the Coalition in reaching its mission, which makes it very valuable in the anti-fraud fighting community. In 2022 studies were published. Each of those, exemplary and vitally important in the fight against insurance fraud. In early 2023 the first study called“WHO ME?” THE WHY & HOW OF INSURANCE FRAUD is scheduled to roll out. The Coalition will be partnering with Verisk to develop what will be our first “two-tier” study designed to address both overall consumer psychology regarding insurance crimes along with far more detailed case studies analyzing the thought processes of criminals, convicted of insurance crimes. We expect to release the study results at the Coalition’s 2023 Midyear Meeting. Finally, we are in preliminary discussions with another Coalition member, PwC, to conduct our study of 2023 which is designed to be a far more detailed analysis of how insurers may most effectively utilize human, financial and data resources to effectively battle against insurance fraud.
Celeste Dodson, IASIU’s International President gave a great insightful presentation on their achievements in 2022. Richard DiZinno with NICB provided valuable insight to their organization.
Task Force Reports
Gene Donnelly, Carmen Russo (via video) and James Rumph provided their task force updates for 2022. Gene discussed the success of the new Workers’ Compensation Report that was released during the very well attended webinar a few months ago, which was very instrumental in capturing the attention of our very first union member due to the expertise and commitment to data gathering along with the panel of experts providing their professional insights. Carmen gave an overview on how the task force has met during the course of 2022 and what the landscape looks like for the coming year. James presented on the maturity survey average results from November 2022 and how that particular survey. We thank each member for their leadership and contribution to each of their task forces.
Prosecutor of the Year
It was a special moment for Jay L. Hoffer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice when Tom Donahue presented him with the coveted award. He shared the grateful moment with his wife and daughter at the lunch ceremony where he delivered an overview of the case that solidified the win over the other contenders who were also amazing as well, which made the selection very challenging. We congratulate Jay once again on his win.
A new way for members to save time and connect!
The Coalition introduced the new YourMembership platform that helps to institute a feature-rich system that will provide our membership base with added value that will make our members feel more connected to the Coalition, the staff, and fellow members. The new membership software provides an online community experience for members. This new tool allows members to create and edit their member profiles and even live chat if needed. And now, the primary member contact for each member can edit the organizational member profile and add or remove their member-employees. For further information, contact [email protected].
An addition, a change and a goodbye for the Coalition
Three announcements for the Coalition were made making everyone aware that Tracy M. Thompson Esq. a former N.J. Insurance Fraud Prosecutor is the new Deputy Executive Director, Kendra Smith’s new title is now Member Services & Events Manager and the Coalition bid a sad farewell to A.D. DuVall, who we all wish nothing but the best.
A milestone year ahead in 2023!
Everyone is very excited as we look forward to celebrating our 30th year in 2023, it will be a year filled with amazing short stories by members and past leaders. The stories will be featured in Fraud News Weekly following the Coalition Spotlight section. Watch out for these stories during the FNW.
Save the date in 2023!
And last but certainly not least, we look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando on June 5 & 6, where we will have a great line-up of incredible new speakers, updated committee reports and a special reception to kick off another great gathering of valuable information focusing on topics and trends. We are looking forward to speaking about the newest completed study and a special presentation on Deep Fake Image Fraud by Pranay Mitta, Vice President of Travelers Investigative Services. And there is so much more to look forward to.
The Coalition thanks each and every member for their hard work and dedication to fighting insurance fraud every day and for making 2022 another great year filled with successes and collaboration to make us even stronger in the years ahead. We look forward to seeing everyone in June.
We hope that everyone who attended our meeting on December 8 & 9th once again found the Annual Membership Conference informative, useful and engaging. We look forward to an even bigger year in 2023. Happy Holidays!
About the author
Joseph Matos is the Communications Director for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.