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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Former Miami Insurance Agent for Stealing Over $620,000 in Alleged Fraud Scheme

3/26/2019

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Contact:
Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com 

CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Former Miami Insurance Agent for Stealing Over $620,000 in Alleged Fraud Scheme

MIAMI – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced today the arrest of Orestes Valentin Rodriguez, a former licensed insurance agent and owner of Blue Guard Insurance Group Inc., after allegedly stealing more than $620,000 in insurance premiums.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida currently ranks first in fraud and fourth in identity theft nationwide and insurance fraud schemes like these drive up those rates. I launched my new Fraud Free Florida initiative to bring law enforcement agencies together to tackle Florida’s mounting fraud epidemic and bring these scam artists to justice because these alarming statistics are not acceptable. If you commit fraud in Florida, you will be caught and held accountable.”
 
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “I am proud to have forged a great partnership with Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and his elite force of insurance fraud investigators in the battle against insurance scam artists who dip into all of our pockets. When my prosecutors bring these insurance fraud criminals into court to face justice with this effective team of fraud fighters on their trail, these scammers need to recognize that they should be looking for a new and honest way to earn their living.”
 
An investigation by CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives and Division of Insurance Agent and Agency Services, in partnership with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Division of Economic Crimes, revealed that Rodriguez allegedly pocketed insurance premiums from a property management company representing a Miami homeowner’s association and never paid the association’s insurance.
 
Rodriguez allegedly:

• Used a premium finance company to finance over $100,700 to pay for a $110,000 policy, keeping the money and never paying off the policy.
• Collected down payments of more than $9,200 with customers paying $74,600 to the finance company for policies Rodriguez never purchased on their behalf.
• Applied for nearly a million dollars in additional premium financing, allegedly generating 21 fraudulent premium finance contracts, and ultimately obtaining more than $430,000 from this premium financing.
• Stole more than $2,900 in premium money from a home policy and a business liability policy.

In total, Rodriguez allegedly stole more than $620,000 in this fraud scheme. His insurance license has been revoked and he has been permanently barred from the insurance business in Florida.
 
Rodriguez was arrested March 20 and transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Rodriguez faces one count of first degree grand theft, 21 counts of uttering a forged instrument, 12 counts of second degree grand theft, 7 counts of third degree grand theft and one count of first degree organized fraud. If convicted, Rodriguez could face up to 25 years in prison.
 
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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).