CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in Miami Insurance Fraud Scheme
~ Several public adjusters and water remediation contractors attempted to defraud an elderly homeowner of $57,000 in insurance claims ~
MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of four subjects, identified as two licensed public adjusters, one individual posing as a public adjuster, and one mold remediation company owner, for allegedly filing multiple fraudulent insurance claims with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CITIZENS) to attempt to defraud a 94-year-old homeowner out of more than $57,000. Miguel Angel Roche, Kevin Gras, Adolfo Jose Diaz Alfonso, Yolett Ernestina Moreno Reina were booked in Miami-Dade County jail on various charges, including Exploitation of the Elderly, Organize Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Grand Theft, Identity Theft, Uttering Forged Instruments, and Unlicensed Public Adjuster.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I have seen and heard enough when it comes to bad actors taking advantage of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, and that’s why I have made it my personal mission to ensure that if you commit fraud or exploit our seniors, I will do everything in my power to put you in jail. Huge thanks to our fraud teams with the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services for making the arrest and ensuring homeowners like this aren’t scammed out of their hard-earned money. Also, thank you to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for her role in bringing these bad actors to justice. This important work impacts innocent Floridians, curbing fraud that’s driving up insurance rates for every homeowner in our state. I hope these arrests serve as a clear example that if you commit fraud in the State of Florida, it’s not if you will be caught but when. If you or someone you know is suspicious of fraud, please report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “Insurance fraud is one of the most devious crimes extending a criminal hand into the wallets of almost everyone residing in Florida. While some may see such schemes as victimless crimes, we all pay when criminals grab our insurance premiums in the form of fraudulent insurance claims. I am thankful to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and his team of skilled law enforcement investigators, for the work they do every day to combat and eliminate insurance fraud and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Citizens Property Insurance CEO Tim Cerio said, “Thank you to CFO Jimmy Patronis and to the fraud detectives in the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services for rooting out these fraudsters and protecting our consumers. Fraudulent schemes like these directly cause increased insurance premiums around the state. That is why fraud harms not just those directly impacted by the scheme, but also every Floridian who pays insurance. Today's arrests prove that our state officials are working hard to combat this criminal activity and allow us, as Florida’s insurer of last resort, to provide the best and highest quality service possible.”
NAPIA President Chris Aldrich said, “The National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) are proud members of the coalition against insurance fraud, and support all efforts from law enforcement and regulators like CFO Patronis to eradicate any type of insurance fraud. We also note that unlicensed individuals have no business to try to pose as reputable, licensed public adjusters.”
An investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS), Bureau of Insurance Fraud was conducted on a tip received from CITIZENS alleging the subjects filed homeowner insurance claims on behalf of an elderly homeowner without her knowledge on property that was not damaged. The fraudulent claims were in reference to alleged water and mold-related damage connected to the elderly victim’s kitchen and air conditioning unit. The investigation found that the elderly homeowner was the victim of identity fraud. The victim's signature was forged on multiple fraudulent homeowner claims, assignment of benefits documents, public adjuster contracts, and a service repair agreement contract by Public Adjuster Miguel Angel Roche, Public Adjuster Kevin Gras, Unlicensed Public Adjuster Adolfo Jose Diaz Alfonso of Premier Consultant Group, and Yolett Ernestina Moreno Reina of Never Mold, LLC.
The subjects allegedly worked in concert with each other and fabricated that the air conditioner and the kitchen had suffered mold and water damage. The homeowner was deceived into believing that a free home inspection was done to help her. Instead, without her knowledge, her signature and identity were used to file a homeowner insurance claim on an undamaged property. As a result of their actions, multiple fraudulent documents in support of claims were submitted by Premier Consultant Group and Never Mold, LLC to CITIZENS with the aim of obtaining more than $57,000 in fraudulent insurance payments.
Miguel Angel Roche, Kevin Gras, Adolfo Jose Diaz Alfonso, Yolett Ernestina Moreno Reina were booked in Miami-Dade County jail on various charges, including Exploitation of the Elderly, Organize Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Grand Theft, Identity Theft, Uttering Forged Instruments, and Unlicensed Public Adjuster. They face 15 to 85 years in prison if convicted on all charges. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case. Additional arrests are expected.
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 Twitter (@FLDFS).