ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Jeremy Dewitte may have retired his Metro State motorcycle one year ago, but the law hasn’t finished catching up to the convicted police impersonator.
Investigators filed nearly one dozen charges against Dewitte Friday, accusing him of a years-long effort to use his funeral escort business to defraud insurance companies.
The first round of accusations related to the registration of Dewitte’s company cars and motorcycles. According to an arrest affidavit, Dewitte registered some of his Metro-State vehicles with multiple insurance companies under his wife’s name and listed them as personal vehicles, in an apparent attempt to evade higher charges put on cars used for business purposes.
Dewitte’s wife told police she was not involved in the insurance application process for any of their vehicles.
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“Had the truth been revealed about the sirens, lights and decals on the vehicles, the insurance policy would not have been issued,” an employee of one of the insurance companies told detectives.
The affidavit said Dewitte’s actions represented a common insurance fraud scheme.
Investigators added that while the vehicles were registered with the government to Metro State, Dewitte failed to update his sex offender registration within the required 48-hour period to include every car he owned.
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Same photos, different crashes
At the same time, Dewitte was under investigation for the registration of his vehicles, detectives were collecting evidence that he was further defrauding companies with inflated damage estimates from crash scenes.
According to the affidavit, Dewitte submitted photos and invoices to an insurance company for a crash that happened in Orlando in May 2020.
Dewitte told troopers on scene that his employee was driving the car at the time, but he gave a different recounting of the events to the insurance company. In a recorded statement, Dewitte made comments that indicated he was driving the car, investigators said.
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The report shows Dewitte gave the insurance company multiple photos of the “damage” that metadata revealed were taken in 2017 and 2019, up to three years before the crash happened.
Dewitte also submitted an invoice for repair work to replace his vehicle’s lights that investigators said matched an invoice he submitted to another fraudulent claim he made for an incident in Polk County in 2018. While the date was removed from the new submission, the invoice number was the same, a detective wrote.
They said charges for the 2018 incident were still pending with the State Attorney’s office. A representative for that office refused to comment on the case Friday.
READ: Orlando man arrested nearly 2 years after deadly hit-and-run crash, troopers say
For the May 2020 crash, investigators said Dewitte received a total of $9,490 from the insurance company, including a $2,000 check for injury claims that he made despite not being the driver of the car.
Five months later, in October 2020, investigators said Dewitte pulled the same stunt with a different insurance company, submitting some of the same photos and invoices that he used after the May crash. Included in that was an invoice for motorcycle parts, which the detective noted made no sense because Dewitte was driving a Chevy Tahoe.
After the case was settled for $10,000, investigators interviewed both the other driver and Dewitte’s passenger. Both said Dewitte intentionally caused the crash by accelerating into the back of the other car.
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“Defendant informed her he purposely collided with the other vehicle as it was attempting to go around the defendant’s vehicle in a turning lane to cause this crash so he would be able to receive funds from an insurance claim,” the passenger reportedly told investigators.
Despite pleading with a judge for leniency Friday afternoon, Dewitte’s bond was again denied. He will remain in jail pending a future court date, as well as while prosecutors attempt to convict him for violating the terms of his probation.
Dewitte did not have an attorney listed on Orange County’s court website.
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