CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Two Arrests on Charges of Insurance Fraud Following Staged Boat Theft
Contact: Chris Cate
(850) 413 – 2842
TALLAHASSEE – CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Jorge Bellomo and Eugenio Ulowicz after an undercover operation led by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), Florida Fish & Wildlife State Law Enforcement and the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department uncovered their scheme to stage a fraudulent boat theft in order to collect insurance claim money.
“These types of scams drive up insurance costs for hardworking Floridians who are striving to make a living the honest way,” said CFO Atwater. “Insurance fraud is never a victimless crime, and I am very proud of the work our investigators have done alongside the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department, the Florida Fish & Wildlife State Law Enforcement and the National Insurance Crime Bureau to combat fraud in Florida.”
Between December 2013 and January 2014, Bellomo and Ulowicz conspired to stage the theft of the boat in order to pocket the claim money. During the planning process, Ulowicz recruited and enlisted the help of a third party, without knowing of the party’s involvement with law enforcement. It was discussed that this individual would dispose of the boat, and Bellomo turned over the keys. Several weeks later, Bellomo reported the boat stolen to the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department and Progressive Insurance Company. Although the boat was already in police custody, Bellomo noted that he last had seen it docked near his residence several days earlier.
Bellomo and Ulowicz were arrested on April 3, 2014, at which time they were escorted to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade. Each individual is currently booked on a bond of $10,000, and if convicted, faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.