Fla. Trio Make Jail Their New Home After Being Nabbed for $1.5 Million in Insurance Fraud

March 26, 2004

Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher and Attorney General Charlie Crist announced the arrests of three South Florida residents on charges that they defrauded Chubb Insurance Company with false claims netting more than $1.5 million.

“These greedy individuals deserve to be prosecuted,” said Crist. “We must ensure that Floridians won’t have to foot the bill in the form of increased insurance premiums for this type of theft.”

Russell Mazer, 45, a Boca Raton businessman; his estranged wife Wendy J. Mazer, 34; and Neil Roeder, 42, a former Chubb insurance adjuster, have been charged with First-Degree Organized Fraud. Russell Mazer has also been charged with three counts of Insurance Fraud and two counts of First-Degree Grand Theft. All three were booked into Palm Beach County Jail.

Following a small fire at their Boca Raton home, the Mazers reportedly filed their fraudulent multimillion dollar claims with Roeder, who approved the claims after receiving over $20,000 in illicit cash payments. The insurance settlement provided the Mazers with the funds to raze and rebuild their 20-year-old waterfront home that had structural problems due to years of seawall neglect.

Additionally, the Mazers reportedly inflated claims about damage to home electronics, some of which were not even in their home at the time of the fire, and inflated their daily living expenses, submitting claims in excess of $536,000. Today, the Mazer home is a vacant lot, and the monies received from the insurance settlement were reportedly spent on other things.

The defendants face 30 years in prison for each of the First-Degree charges and a maximum of 5 years in prison for each Third-Degree charge.

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