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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Eleazer, Carrie

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 3/9/2012 

 PCSO Deputies Arrest Local Franchise Owner For Insurance Fraud 


On Thursday, March 8, 2012, PCSO Bureau of Special Investigations undercover detectives, working with agents from the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, arrested 39-year-old Keith Allen Judge, DOB 9/8/1972, of 5309 Nichols Road in Lakeland, after Judge arranged to have his truck stolen so that he could collect insurance money for it. 

According to the affidavit, in February 2012, PCSO detectives were contacted by a known confidential source who told them that Keith Judge, who owns a Cornwell Tools franchised tool truck, wanted to have the truck "stolen" so that he could file a fraudulent insurance claim and collect over $100,000 for it. The confidential source told Judge he knew someone who would be willing to "steal" the truck, and put him in contact with an undercover PCSO detective. 

On February 17, 2012, the undercover detective talked to Judge and coordinated the staged theft of his business truck, which Judge left at his mother's house with the keys inside of it. 

On February 18, 2012, Judge filed a stolen vehicle report with the Lakeland Police Department, and filed a claim with Allstate Insurance in the amount of $113,323, which included the value of the truck and tools within the truck, which weren't actually in the truck when it was "stolen." Judge fraudulently utilized 9-1-1 and the U.S. Postal Service to report the crime and file the claim. Agents with the Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, who were working with the PCSO detectives, handled the fraudulent claim - Judge never received the insurance money. 

As a result of the investigation, Judge was arrested at his place of business on March 8, 2012, and booked into the Polk County Jail on one count Grand Theft (F-2), one count Insurance Fraud (F-2), one count Giving False Information to a LEO (M-2), and one count Use of a Two-Way Device to Commit a Felony (F-3). He confessed to detectives that he planned the theft and insurance fraud to collect money and pay back debts he owed when he started up his business. 

Judge is being held in the Polk County Jail on $102,000 bond.