Author Archives: Ricardo Luces

Pinellas County Detectives Arrest 35 Unlicensed Contractors in Undercover Sting

Pinellas County Detectives arrested 35 unlicensed contractors in an undercover sting operation coined “Operation Cast Out.” The suspects’ charges include unlicensed specialty contracting violations, workers compensation fraud, and various other criminal charges unrelated to unlicensed contracting.

The sting operation was conducted from November 3-5 at a vacant storefront in Madeira Beach. The unlicensed contractors were found advertising on social media platforms and came to the business agreeing to engage in illegal contracting work without a license or permit.

Citizens in Pinellas County can search for licensed contractors or report unlicensed construction activity by visiting the PCCLB website.

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Filed under Fraud

Palmetto Bay Man Arrested for Insurance Fraud and Grand Theft

Carlos Guillermo Aponte of Palmetto Bay was arrested in September for three counts of insurance fraud and grand theft for allegedly defrauding Citizens Property Insurance Corp. The Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) investigated Aponte after receiving a tip about fraudulent invoices and false rental agreements with letters claiming lost of rent for more than $30,000.

Aponte could face prison time of up to 45 years and fines up to $45,000.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Tampa Bay Roofing Insurance Scammers Busted in Connecticut

Carlton DeWayne Dunko and Frank Martin Pureber, once known for using their former company NBRC Construction in a roofing insurance scam that cheated nearly 100 Tampa Bay residents out of at least $632,000 have taken their talents to Connecticut.

After serving two years in a Florida prison and being placed on probation, Dunko and Pureber fled to Connecticut to start a similar operation, CTST Construction. Dunko was leading a sales meeting in Milford, CT when Florida fraud agents busted him. They have been found guilty of larceny and sentenced to a year in a Connecticut prison.

When Dunko and Pureber finish their Connecticut prison time, they will face trial for the alleged fraud they committed in Missouri with another roofing company, American Shingle and Siding.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Florida Medical Professionals Charged in Largest Healthcare Fraud Crackdown In US History

Over 600 medical professionals in 35 states across the U.S. are on the hook for submitting more than $2B in fraudulent claims in what the U.S. attorney’s office is calling the largest healthcare fraud crackdown in the history of the Department of Justice. Of the 601 charged in this crackdown, almost 150 of the accused are from Florida.

Many of the crimes committed in this crackdown are linked to the opioid crisis, but also includes money laundering, check cashing and billings to Medicare.

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Filed under Fraud, Insurance Fraud

Florida Man Charged with Theft and Fraud in Property Insurance Scheme

According to investigators, Roderick Clark of Indian Harbour Beach is facing charges after filing a false claim for more than $30,000 in hurricane damages last year.

Clark claimed his home had sustained electrical damage during Hurricane Irma including having to replace 11 outlets and electronic devices that did not belong to him. According to court records, Clark also submitted a forged letter from an electrical company to USAA Insurance Co. stating that they made repairs in the about of $31,350.67.

Clark was arrested and charged with grand theft and insurance fraud.

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Filed under Florida, Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, Fraud, Hurricane Irma, Insurance, Insurance Claims, Insurance Defense, Insurance Fraud, Property Insurance