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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Sixteen Arrests in Tampa in a Joint Workers’ Compensation Fraud Sting

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Sixteen Arrests in Tampa in a Joint Workers’ Compensation Fraud Sting

TAMPA, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announces the arrest of 16 individuals in a workers’ compensation insurance fraud sting operation involving unlicensed contractors in Manatee County. The operation was in collaboration with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Workers’ compensation fraud creates an unfair advantage for dishonest businesses leaving employees exposed and defenseless. Workers’ comp insurance protects customers, employees, and businesses when accidents happen. That’s why it’s imperative that contractors follow the law and carry this with this important insurance coverage. Be warned, if you try to cheat the system and your employees you will be caught and you will go to jail. Huge thanks to DBPR Secretary Griffin and Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells and their law enforcement professionals for working with our fraud investigators to bring these fraudsters to justice. I sincerely appreciate their commitment to make Florida fraud free.”

Secretary Melanie Griffin, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation said, “Protecting Floridians from unlicensed activity is a top priority for DBPR and we are proud to have collaborated with CFO Patronis and MCSO to hold bad actors accountable. Sting operations are a critical proactive guard against fraudsters, and I have no doubt that the results of this operation will help prevent damage to consumers’ homes and keep money in the pockets of hardworking Floridians.”

Sheriff Rick Wells, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said, “Our detectives conduct these stings with the victims of unsafe construction practices and the poor workmanship of unlicensed contractors in mind. Unsuspecting customers are the ones who suffer the most due to Workers' Compensation Fraud. Our residents deserve better. We hope that this latest operation will serve as an example to those who choose to ignore state law requirements and take shortcuts.”

CFO Jimmy Patronis’ Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fraud along with Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, and the Manatee County Code Enforcement conducted a joint sting operation that caught contractors agreeing to perform work without a license and without worker’s compensation insurance coverage. The 16 individuals were arrested for contracting without a license and failure to secure workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Individuals arrested included: Brennan Tanner, Francis Jakubajtys, Blaine Benson, Andrew Sampson, Paul Slaughter III, Aryam Garcia Bellido De Luna, Troy Childs, Pedro Laureano, Kerry Lee, Oscar Antonio Figueroa Zelaya, Christopher Valentin, Luis A. Rosario, Nicholas J. Austine, Kim McNulty, Sergio Vargas-Olayo, and Alan Hart.

To report suspected contactor fraud, call our Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or report online at People reporting fraud can remain anonymous.


About CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and on X (@FLDFS).