Local10.com, Janine Stanwood and Chris Gothner, September 25, 2023
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Authorities arrested two licensed insurance adjusters, one unlicensed insurance adjuster and a mold contractor on multiple felony charges after investigators said they worked together to defraud a 94-year-old Miami Gardens woman and Citizens Insurance.
Investigators with the Florida Department of Financial Bureau’s Bureau of Insurance Fraud accused the four of filing insurance claims on behalf of Gay Scott — without her knowledge — on undamaged property.
They said it was all an attempt to defraud her and Citizens out of more than $57,000 this spring.
“The fraudulent claims were in reference to alleged water and mold-related damage connected to the elderly victim’s kitchen and air conditioning unit,” a spokesperson for the agency said.
Authorities said they took the following four people into custody Monday:
Miguel Angel Roche, 29, of southwest Miami-Dade; public adjuster
Kevin Gras, 28, of southwest Miami-Dade; public adjuster
Adolfo Jose Diaz-Alfonzo, 26, of Miami Gardens; unlicensed public adjuster, Premier Consultant Group
Yolett Ernestina Moren-Reina, 60, of southwest Miami-Dade; owner, Never Mold, LLC
Local 10 News was there as state investigators went to a southwest Miami-Dade home to arrest Roche.
Authorities said the four forged Scott’s signature on “multiple fraudulent homeowner claims, assignment of benefits documents, public adjuster contracts and a service repair agreement.”
They said the group “worked in concert” with one another and “fabricated that the air conditioner and the kitchen had suffered mold and water damage.”
“The homeowner was deceived into believing that a free home inspection was done to help her,” the state spokesperson said. “Instead, without her knowledge, her signature and identity were used to file a homeowner insurance claim on an undamaged property.”
Scott said she never signed anything.
“I told them I didn’t want anything,” she said in an interview with Local 10 News.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis told Local 10 News that the scam was a prime example of why Floridians keep paying more for insurance.
“This is why the rates of Citizens goes up, because the bad actors just like this,” Patronis said. “We can model for storms coming and impacting Florida. We cannot model for the litigation and fraud.”
The suspects, who were arrested on charges including exploitation of the elderly, organized fraud, insurance fraud, grand theft, identity theft, uttering forged instruments and being an unlicensed public adjuster, face 15 to 85 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Officials encourage anyone who suspects they or someone they know was the target of fraud to visit FraudFreeFlorida.com.