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Consumer Experiences

Telling The Story - Consumer Experiences

Contractor solicitation fraud impacts both the insurance industry and consumers resulting in increased insurance rates, and lack of availability and affordability of insurance coverage. These stories are real examples from consumers who have experienced harmful consequences involving contractors. These examples will help to further illustrate the impact fraud has on consumers and the insurance market as a whole.

Pasco County Roofing Contractor Insurance Fraud Scheme

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services arrested John Sutton for allegedly conducting an unlicensed roof replacement scheme to defraud homeowners in Pasco County out of $41,552.61 in insurance claims. From August 2021 through February 2022, Mr. Sutton solicited roofing services to homeowners under the name Kaizen Construction Group.

Kaizen Construction Group went door to door soliciting business for roof replacements, instructing the homeowners on what to say to insurance companies to initiate the claims process. Once a claim was filed with the insurance company, Kaizen's salesmen would have the homeowners sign a “Direct to Pay” agreement, authorizing payment of the claim to go directly to the roofing company. 

No construction permits were ever pulled to initiate or complete the roof replacements and it was discovered that neither John Sutton nor Kaizen Construction Group were properly licensed or insured to conduct roofing business in the State of Florida. John Sutton was arrested on March 24, 2023, on charges including Filing a False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim, Grand Theft, Unlicensed Contracting, and Failure to Obtain Workers' Compensation coverage. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

Naples Roofing Contractor Insurance Fraud Scheme

Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services arrested two contractors in Naples for allegedly operating a solicitation scheme for free roof replacements related to damage supposedly caused by Hurricane Irma. Brian Webb and Brandon Jourdan of Webb Roofing & Construction LLC allegedly enticed homeowners with rebates to cover their insurance deductible if they submitted an insurance claim for a roof replacement. The company’s salespeople would require the homeowner to sign an Assignment of Benefits* and an "advertising agreement," which allowed the company to place an advertising sign in their yard, and the homeowners were required to provide positive reviews online and give neighborhood referrals.

The contractors face nine counts of filing False & Fraudulent Insurance Claims, a third-degree felony. If convicted on all charges, they each face a maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison and a $45,000 fine.

DFS Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFFS) Police Badge

To Report Suspected Fraud:

Fraud Tip Hotline - 1-800-378-0445
DFS Online Fraud Reporting Portal

* Any policy that was issued prior to January 1, 2023, provides a policyholder with the right to assign insurance benefits to a 3rd party as long as you have not chosen to give up that right in order to receive a premium discount.

Manatee County Unlicensed Contractor Sting

In July 2022, eight contractors were caught working in Manatee County without the required contractor's license and doing construction work without having workers' compensation insurance, or a workers' compensation insurance exemption.

The eight individuals (Alberto Vega-Alvarez, Ryan Bogos, Thomas Yannotti, Julian Gubchak, Jeffrey Tenpenny, Luis Pineiro, Daniel Rotar, and Jamey Darnell) were arrested and face a total of 24 charges of Failure to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Coverage and Unlicensed Contracting. Each of the unlicensed contractors could face up to five years in prison if convicted on all charges. 

These arrests were a result of joint sting operation conducted by the  Department of Financial Services' (DFS) Division of Investigative and Forensic Services’ Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud along with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

If you suspect a contractor is working without a license or without proper workers' compensation insurance, contact the DFS Fraud Hotline: 1-800-378-0445 or DFS Online Fraud Reporting Portal. Reports can be made anonymously.


Verify a contractor's license through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR):



Verify that the contractor has either:


Incomplete Restoration Leaves Home Uninhabitable

Example of a gutted home - kitchen with no appliances, cabinets or flooring
An elderly, disabled Bay County couple filed a Hurricane Michael claim as a result of water entering their home causing minor physical damage and mold. The couple contracted with a restoration company which told them they would need to move out of their home while it was being repaired. The couple moved into an assisted living facility.  

The restoration company completely gutted their home, removing personal property, drywall, appliances and other fixtures. The restoration company did not complete the work and the home is uninhabitable. 
When the couple attempted to rescind the contract, the restoration company sent the couple an invoice totaling more than $99,000 and filed a lien against the property for nearly $100,000. 

Homeowners Misled Into Fraudulent Insurance Schemes

Public Adjuster or Lawyer with Senior Couple


A fraud investigation was initiated involving a senior community in Lee County that involves 15 insurance companies, one contractor, one public adjuster and one attorney.

At least 11 roof claims have been filed citing Hurricane Irma damage. Residents were promised a new roof with no out of pocket expenses if they sign a contract with the contractor, the public adjuster and the attorney and then they are coached on what to say to the company adjuster.


During a 4-week timeframe in 2020, an insurance company received 32 claims from one SW Florida community. The claims included:

  • 14 claims for Hurricane Irma damage 
  • 18 water damage claims for kitchen leaks and bathroom leaks

All of the claims were reported by the same law firm and the same public adjuster. Many of the homeowners stated they were unaware that they were hiring an attorney.

22 AOBs were filed from the same water mitigation company and 21 AOBs were filed from the same mold testing company.

  • 19 homes filed 32 individual claims
  • 13 homes filed two claims
  • 9 homes filed four AOBs each

The claims along with the AOBs have the potential of more than 70 lawsuits. Invoices that were submitted by the law firm, the water mitigation company and the mold testing company totaled more than $816,000.

Contractor Failed to Complete $28,000 Worth of Repairs

A contractor was paid more than $40,000 and never completed the repairs. There was more than $28,000 in repairs outstanding. After numerous delays and arguments with the contractor, the homeowner had to deplete her savings and take out a loan to complete the repairs.

The homeowner has unsuccessfully attempted to recover more than $28,000 from the contractor. 

Unusually High Estimate Serves as Red Flag for Homeowner

A Hillsborough County homeowner filed a Hurricane Irma claim for damage to his roof.  He entered into a contract with a roofing company and the company submitted an estimate to the insurance company for $97,000. The homeowner questioned the estimate since he was aware that several of his neighbors had obtained roof estimates that were $50,000 cheaper. 

Upon contacting the insurance company, the homeowner was advised that the claim was in litigation. The homeowner had no knowledge that the contractor had retained an attorney and that a lawsuit had been filed against his insurance company.  
Man with clipboard inspecting home for work estimate

Woman signing electronically on a tablet

An Unexpected Assignment of Benefits Contract

A roofing contractor solicited a homeowner to perform a roof inspection. The contractor indicated that damage existed and presented the homeowner with an iPad for signature to allow him to “work with her adjuster”.

The homeowner did not understand what she signed until she received the claim payment, which listed the roofing contractor as a payee.  Upon contacting the insurance company, the homeowner was advised that she signed an Assignment of Benefits (AOB)* and explained what an AOB was. The homeowner was quite upset and felt swindled and unsuccessfully attempted to rescind the AOB.  

* Any policy that was issued prior to January 1, 2023, provides a policyholder with the right to assign insurance benefits to a 3rd party as long as you have not chosen to give up that right in order to receive a premium discount.

Homeowner Fears Foreclosure After Contractor Disappears

A Jackson County homeowner filed a Hurricane Michael claim and signed an AOB with a contractor. Upon receiving payment from the insurance company, the contractor completed some initial repair work, stopped and refused to communicate with the homeowner.

Several months later, it was discovered that the contractor was previously arrested in Bay County for working without a license and defrauding homeowners of more than $122,000. The home has still not been repaired and the homeowner is afraid that he will lose his home to foreclosure. 

Man worried

Photos serve as examples only. They do not represent the specific homes and individuals in the consumer stories. 

Contact Your ICA

Tasha Carter

Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate
Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate
200 East Gaines Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 413-5923

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