Ohio Insurance Director Lee Covington announced the appointment of Robert F. Smith to coordinate the Department’s investigation of insurance-related, white-collar crime as the Department’s Chief of Fraud and Enforcement, “one of the top positions in the Department’s Investigative and Licensing Services Office.”
“Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime,” said the bulletin. It costs American families nearly $1,000 each year. “Last year 60 cases investigated by the Department were referred for prosecution resulting in 36 criminal convictions.”
Sue Stead, OID Assistant Director of Investigative and Licensing Services, stated that “Bob understands the importance of detecting, investigating, and preventing fraudulent practices that undermine the stability of the Ohio insurance market and weaken consumer confidence. His leadership and expertise in this area will be of tremendous value to the Department and to insurance consumers across Ohio.”
Smith has a broad background in law enforcement. He served for 14 years as a Principal Assistant Attorney General and Chief Counsel for the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC), which operates under the auspices of the Ohio Attorney General, coordinating “several high-profile multi-agency task forces attacking organized crime across Ohio.”
He was instrumental in heading investigations that “dismantled an 18-county theft ring that was responsible for more than $5 million in stolen property, uncovered a crime operation in Ohio and Kentucky that resold millions in stolen goods, and broke up a theft ring that had preyed upon elderly victims for nearly 10 years in several counties south of Columbus.” He’s a recognized expert on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, which targets organized crime operations.