Authorities in Florida announced the arrest of two licensed public adjusters, a person posing as a public adjuster and the owner of a mold remediation company for allegedly attempting to scam a 94-year-old homeowner by filing a fraudulent insurance claims.
The state Department of Financial Services said Miguel Angel Roche, Kevin Gras, Adolfo Jose Diaz Alfonso, and Yolett Ernestina Moreno Reina were booked in Miami-Dade County jail on fraud, identity theft and forgery charges.
The department said in a press release that it launched an investigation after Citizens Property Insurance Corp. referred a suspected fraudulent claim to the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services.
WPLG, a Miami television station, reported the four suspects filed the claim for an undamaged home owned by Gay Scott of Miami Gardens. Scott was unaware the claim was filed. A state spokeswoman told Local 10 News that the scammers had promised a free home inspection.
Investigators say forged signatures were attached to multiple fraudulent homeowner claims, assignment of benefits documents, public adjuster contracts, and a service repair agreement contract by public adjusters Roche and Gras; Alfonso, who is an unlicensed adjuster with Premier Consultant Group; and Reina, with Never Mold, LLC. The accused scammers claimed $57,000 in water and mold-related damage connected to the homeowner’s kitchen and air conditioning unit.
“I have seen and heard enough when it comes to bad actors taking advantage of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, and that’s why I have made it my personal mission to ensure that if you commit fraud or exploit our seniors, I will do everything in my power to put you in jail,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said in a prepared statement.
The four were charged with a variety of crimes, including exploitation of the elderly, organized fraud, insurance fraud, grand theft, identity theft, uttering forged instruments, and unlicensed public adjuster, the department said. They face 15 to 85 years in prison if convicted on all charges. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case.
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