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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in Tampa Roofing Fraud Scheme

12/1/2023
For Immediate Release: Friday, December 1, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in Tampa Roofing Fraud Scheme

TAMPA, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Paul Vautour, former Vice-President of Sales for Castle Roofing Company (Castle) and three other employees including Kiana Vatour, Robert Lusk Sr., and Robert Lusk Jr. for their alleged involvement in intentionally and schematically causing damage to homeowner’s roofs to file fraudulent property insurance claims to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens).

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “There’s no end to how low bad actors will go to try and get a piece of your insurance claim. Faking roof damage and inflating insurance claims is not only wrong, it’s a driving cause behind the rise of home insurance premiums for every single Floridian. Homeowners must be on the lookout for fraudsters like these trying to make a quick buck, especially following a storm. Thank you to my dedicated insurance fraud detectives, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Citizens Property Insurance, and to the Attorney General’s Office for bringing this fraudster in to face justice.”

Citizens President/CEO and Executive Director Tim Cerio said, “Fraud drives insurance rates up and harms all Florida policyholders. Citizens thanks, and will continue to assist, DFS investigators and local prosecutors as they go after these unscrupulous contractors.”

An investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) revealed that between September 2019 and October 2020, Paul Vautour and other Castle employees conducted a systematic and ongoing course of business practices to defraud insurance companies and homeowners. Citizens became suspicious of claims filed by Castle and began an internal review of all their claims. Citizens’ internal investigation of supposed weather-related roofing claims submitted by Castle employees had revealed a pattern of damage that was consistent with man-made manipulation of roof coverings. In addition, video footage was obtained of Castle employees causing damages to roofs that were later presented as wind damage. Based on this information DIFS conducted an independent criminal investigation. The investigation revealed that Paul Vautour was allegedly training Castle employees to fabricate roof damage to facilitate fraudulent roof claims.

Paul Vatour, Kiana Vatour, and Robert Lusk Jr. were arrested on November 30 and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. Robert Lusk Sr. was arrested on November 30 and booked into the Pasco County Jail. Charges include Grant Theft, Criminal Use of Personal ID, Aggravated White Collar Crime, and Insurance Fraud. This case will prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution.

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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).

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