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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Hurricane Irma Scam Artist Arrested AGAIN in $68,000 Fraud Bust

2/18/2019

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 18, 2019
Contact: Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com  

CFO Jimmy Patronis: Hurricane Irma Scam Artist Arrested AGAIN in $68,000 Fraud Bust

ORANGE CITY, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced today the arrest of Mary Bruce for alleged unlicensed practice of public adjusting and grand theft related to Hurricane Irma. Bruce attempted to steal more than $68,000 in fraudulent claims. This is Bruce's second arrest for insurance fraud this year. She bonded out of jail in January and was arrested again on separate charges.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “It never ceases to amaze me the lengths these scam artists will go to steal your hard-earned money. My detectives caught this criminal once, and they have arrested her again. I promise you this: If you commit insurance fraud, we will find you, and you will go to jail.”
 
Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, CFO Patronis’ investigators discovered that Bruce approached homeowners whose home sustained roof and interior damages from the storm. Bruce told the homeowners that she was an “independent claims adjuster” that could negotiate settlements with insurance companies. Bruce required the homeowners to pay $3,500 and to sign a Power of Attorney. However, Bruce is not a licensed attorney, public adjuster, nor a general contractor.
 
Bruce then submitted fraudulent cost estimates for roofing work to the insurance company. In total, she submitted $68,000 in fraudulent insurance claims to the homeowner's insurance company.
 
Bruce was arrested and booked into the Brevard County Jail and charged for rendering services as an unlicensed public adjuster, as well as for grand theft. If convicted, Bruce faces up to 10 years in prison. Learn details of her previous arrest on charges of unlicensed public adjuster and filing of false and fraudulent lien in Orange County.

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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 Twitter (@FLDFS).