Tag Archives: insurance

Kendall Man Arrested for Bogus Boat Accident Insurance Claim

Florida Department of Financial Services Bureau of Insurance Fraud investigators arrested Jose Alberto Vargas for allegedly attempting to defraud Boat U.S. out of $14,000. Vargas filed a false claim for a grounded 1993 Mako boat and willfully deceived his insurance company and submitted misleading information regarding the ownership, dates and damage to his boat.

Vargas submitted his false claim on May 31, 2015, a few days after a mechanic saw Vargas’ boat at Tavernier Creek Marina and found that the engine was full of water and one cylinder was bad. Investigators also found that Vargas’ father was the owner of the boat at the time of the “accident” and did not transfer ownership to his son until August of that year.

Click here to read the article.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Two Arrested in Patient-Brokering and Insurance Fraud Scheme

Licensed pharmacist Richard Vallette and a “middleman” Todd Mulvaney were arrested in patient-brokering and insurance fraud scheme. Vallette and Mulvaney conspired to split thousands of dollars in insurance reimbursements from fraudulent prescriptions with who they thought was a drug-treatment center owner, but turned out to be an undercover cop.

Both men are facing six counts of patient brokering and six counts of insurance fraud. According to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, this is an active investigation and there will likely be additional arrests.

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Filed under Fraud

Duval County Public Schools Principal Arrested for Insurance Fraud

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Darrell Perry, a Jacksonville elementary school principal for allegedly trying to submit altered insurance claims and false invoices for over $16,000 in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Investigators found Perry submitted fraudulent and fabricated repair invoices requesting reimbursement from State Farm due to alleged damages from Hurricane Irma.  Perry has turned himself in and now faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the press release.

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Filed under Insurance Fraud

Three Unlicensed Contractors Banned for Post-Storm Fraud

According to the Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis, three unlicensed contractors in Leon, Gadsden and Gulf counties have been banned from soliciting and conducting any work in Florida pending a full investigation. The Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team is investigating additional reports of potential fraud in Bay, Gulf, Washington and Leon counties. CFO Patronis is stressing the importance of verifying professional license information and whether the company has workers’ comp insurance before you hire a contractor.

Here’s a list of Tips to Stop Post-Storm Fraud:

  • Beware of Crooked Contractors.
  • Don’t Sign Anything.
  • Too Good to Be True? It Probably Is.
  • Beware of Door-to-Door.
  • Check a License.

Click here to read the press release.

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Filed under Fraud

Tampa Bay Businessmen Indicted in Billion Dollar Insurance Fraud Scheme

Four Pinellas County businessmen, Andrew Assad, Peter Bolos, Michael Palso and Larry Everett Smith have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, mail fraud and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. The conspiracy involved using their telemedicine business called HealthRight and compounding pharmacy companies to deceive patients, doctors, insurance carriers by fraudulently soliciting insurance coverage information and prescriptions, mark up the prices of the invalidly prescribed drugs, and bill insurance carriers. One of the compounding pharmacies, Alpha-Omega in Clearwater, allegedly charged $374 for $35-worth of lidocaine – a 969-percent markup.

According to the indictment, the men defrauded Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee out of approximately $174,000,000. Another Bay area man, Scott Roix, already please guilty to felony conspiracy in this case and another case involving wire fraud. Assad, Bolos, Palso, and Smith could face prison terms of over 30 years, fines up to $250,000 and probation for their charges.

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud

FL Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier Warns Homeowners to Protect Themselves

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued a warning to residents facing damage from Tropical Storm Gordon be careful and to make sure they fully read and understand any documents they sign in Gordon’s aftermath. Altmaier has been an outspoken critic of the ongoing assignment of benefits abuse happening in the state of Florida.

Many insurers throughout Florida have been seeing an uptick in litigation due to the inflated and fraudulent claims stemming from unlicensed contractors who have homeowners sign over their insurance policy rights in exchange for needed repairs to their homes.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also issued a warning to consumers to protect themselves against fraud and has activated the Florida Department of Financial Services Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) for the 2018 hurricane season.

Click here to read the article.

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Filed under Assignment of Benefits, Property Insurance

4th DCA Finds AOB Without All Insureds’ and Mortgagees Signatures Unenforceable

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018 the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that assignment of benefits (AOB) without all insureds’ and mortgagees signatures are unenforceable. The appellate court found no problems with an insurer requiring consent from all insureds and mortgagees, which is good news at a time when AOB abuse is such a big issue in Florida.

Visit Law360 (subscription required) or Justia for more information on this ruling.

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Filed under Assignment of Benefits, Insurance, Property Insurance

Vero Beach Acupuncturist Charged with Insurance Fraud and Racketeering

Jill Jaynes of Absolute Integrated Medicine in Vero Beach has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud totaling nearly $1.5 million, racketeering and more. If Jaynes is convicted, she could face up to 135 years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

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Filed under Healthcare Fraud, Insurance, Insurance Fraud

Pinellas County Sheriff Going After Unlicensed Contractors

Thirty people were arrested in a three-day sting to “flush-out” unlicensed contractors preying on property owners in Pinellas County. The sting produced at least 60 felony and misdemeanor charges against the violators. Operation Flush Out is Sheriff Bob Gualtieri’s third sting since October 2017.

A Tampa Bay Times’ investigation in 2017 revealed how the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board preferred to punish unlicensed contractors with fines rather than pursue violations in criminal court. Contracting without a license carries a misdemeanor for first-time offenses and a felony the second time.

Pinellas County government took control of the agency on July 1st. Gualtieri launched the Construction Licensing Investigative Unit and trained deputies to investigate contracting crimes. The department’s previous stings in October and February netted more than 45 arrests and dozens of charges.

Click here to read the article.

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Filed under Insurance, Property Insurance

FL Man Poses As NJ Doctor to Submit $1M in Fraud Claims

A Florida man, Yoandi Marrero, has been charged with insurance fraud, theft by deception, attempted theft by deception and identity theft after assuming a New Jersey doctor’s identity to submit more than $1 million in fraudulent medical claims. The services were never rendered and the medical center did not exist.

Marrero was found out when a woman claimed a doctor had billed her insurance for services that were never rendered.

Click here to read the full story.

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Filed under Florida, Fraud, Insurance, Insurance Claims, Insurance Defense, Insurance Fraud