Former Florida Fire Captain Charged With Padding Living Expenses on Citizens Claim

June 17, 2024

A retired south Florida fire captain has been arrested for insurance fraud, charged with vastly overstating the number of nights he was forced to stay in a resort hotel while his home was under repair.

Florida’s chief financial officer said in a statement Tuesday that Miguel Ferrer filed a claim in 2022 with Citizens Property Insurance Corp. after a clogged air conditioner drain line caused water damage to his home near Fort Lauderdale. Ferrer allegedly claimed living expenses for multiple nights at Windjammer Resort & Beach Club in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Patronis said.

Citizens examiners became suspicious and referred the case to Patronis’ Department of Financial Service’s Criminal Investigations Division. Investigators confirmed that the former fireman claimed 26 extra days at the resort and that he had falsified lodging invoices, the statement said.

The investigation also found that Ferrer was actually at a training center in Ocala at the time of his claimed stay at the hotel. His Sun Pass transponder recorded his vehicle traveling southbound from Ocala to Broward County, contradicting his claims of being at the resort, the DFS noted.

If convicted of the fraud charges, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

“This case is a reminder of the serious consequences of homeowners insurance fraud,” Patronis said.

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