MyFloridaCFO, March 24, 2023
Pasco County, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of John Sutton on charges including Filing a False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim, Grand Theft, Unlicensed Contracting, and Failure to Obtain Workers Compensation coverage for allegedly conducting an unlicensed roof replacement scheme to defraud homeowners out of more than $41,000 in insurance claims.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "To do business in the state of Florida, you either have to do it the right way, or not at all. If you attempt to scam the system to line your own pockets, our fraud detectives will catch you and make sure that justice is served. Insurance fraud like this drives up insurance rates for all Floridians. Thank you to my dedicated fraud detectives at the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for all of their hard work in helping solve this case."
While doing business as Kaizen Construction Group, Sutton allegedly defrauded homeowners in Pasco County out of $41,552.61 in an unlicensed roofing scheme. An investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services' Bureau of Insurance Fraud revealed that from August 2021 through February 2022, Kaizen Construction Group held itself as a licensed roofing company. Kaizen's salesmen went door to door soliciting business for roof replacements, instructing the homeowners on what to say to insurance companies to initiate the claims process. Kaizen's salesmen would have the homeowners sign a “Direct to Pay” after claim numbers were issued to the homeowner. Sutton never pulled any permits to initiate or complete roof replacements.
Further investigation revealed that neither Sutton, nor the Kaizen Construction Group, was properly licensed or insured to conduct roofing business in the State of Florida. Sutton allegedly later made a statement saying that he has victimized hundreds of homeowners throughout the state.
John Sutton was arrested on March 24, 2023, and was booked at the Pasco County Jail. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 25 years in prison. The Department needs the public’s help in identifying possible additional victims in this roofing fraud scheme. If you know of anyone who has been defrauded as a result of John Sutton's alleged criminal actions, please contact the Bureau of Insurance Fraud by calling the CFO’s Insurance Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.