Citizens Property Insurance Adds Forensic Investigators to Internal Audit Structure
Mar 8, 2013
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) announced today, March 8, 2013, that it has hired a team of forensic auditors in an effort to strengthen its internal auditing structure. This new unit replaces Citizens’ former Office of Corporate Integrity.
A news release issued by Citizens is reprinted below.
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s efforts to root out fraud have been elevated to a new level following changes made to its internal audit structure and the addition of a team of forensic auditors whose backgrounds range from Big Four accounting firms to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Citizens Chief of Internal Audit Joe Martins says the newly formed cadre of financial investigators exponentially bolsters the company’s internal auditing capabilities, bringing the company on par with the best-run insurance companies in the business.
“In terms of our capabilities, this is a game changer,” said Joe Martins, Chief of Internal Audit. “We have assembled a formidable team and are putting a structure in place that will provide an unprecedented level of internal oversight.”
The new forensic unit is part of Citizens’ larger effort to streamline and standardize internal investigations of potential fraud, mismanagement and employee grievances. It’s duties and enhanced capabilities replace the former Office of Corporate Integrity, which lacked the financial expertise to proactively ferret out fraud, waste and abuse.
Leading the new forensic audit team is Josh Shilts, who was hired in February as Director of Internal Audit/Forensics. Shilts is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified in Financial Forensics and a Certified Public Accountant. He holds a Masters in Accounting with a concentration in Forensic Accounting from Florida Atlantic University where he currently serves as an adjunct professor of Fraud Examination.
Shilts has led domestic and international investigations into abuse, malfeasance and fraud. He most recently served as a Manager of Litigation Support and Advisory Services for a Miami-based firm, one of the nation’s top 40 certified accounting firms, where he provided forensic investigative and advisory services and litigation support.
Shilts is joined by two additional auditors:
Gary Dagan, senior internal audit/forensics. Dagan is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified in Financial Forensics, Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. Dagan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mercyhurst College.
Dagan starts work in March and comes to Citizens after 28 years as a Special Agent for the FBI, during which time he investigated financial crimes, cyber crimes and money laundering. Among his assignments, Dagan served as Chief of Economic Crimes and managed the agency’s Insurance Fraud, Securities Fraud program at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. Dagan also has provided presentations and training seminars to law enforcement forums, regulatory, industry and community organizations in 25 countries.
Mike Regan, senior internal auditor/forensics. Regan is a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Regan holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Quinnipiac College.
Regan’s background includes more than 20 years of internal audit and accounting experience, most recently as the manager of investigations and support audit at a Jacksonville-based bank, where he developed and managed the company’s forensics team responsible for fraud detection, investigations and risk assessments. He began work at Citizens in February.
The forensics team will be completed with the addition of a fourth auditor, who will use data analytics and fraud technology to profile and identify abnormal patterns and behaviors. That position currently is advertised.
“This forensic team is an integral part of our strengthened internal review structure, which provides clear lines of review for financial and workplace issues” said Barry Gilway, Citizens President/CEO and Executive Director.
Since October, all complaints have been directed through Citizens’ newly appointed Ethics and Compliance Officer Deborah Kearney, who steers cases to the appropriate department and monitors the progress of complaints to ensure their timely and appropriate resolution.
Citizens has recently revised its travel and expense policies to more closely mirror those of state and federal agencies and supports legislation to modify its procurement policies to more closely match those of state agencies.
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