Insurance Journal, December 8, 2022

An unlicensed contractor and a deputy sheriff in Florida have been charged in separate incidents of contracting fraud and insurance fraud, state and local authorities said.

Ty Lamonte Hillman was arrested this week after the state Department of Financial Services said he took advantage of central Florida homeowners after recent storms. Hillman allegedly misrepresented himself as a licensed contractor and collected more than $146,000 from insurance settlements, then absconded with the money and never repaired the homes, DFS said in a statement.

“Following storms, bad actors come out of the woodwork looking to make a quick buck, preying on homeowners during their greatest time of need,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said. “This type of fraud is despicable and is a plague on our state, driving up property insurance rates for all Floridians.”

If convicted, Hillman faces up to 15 years in prison.

That same day, across the state, DFS charged a Santa Rosa County deputy sheriff with insurance fraud. Deputy Corey Jones was then terminated from the sheriff’s department, according to local news reports.

DFS investigators began looking into the deputy after USAA insurance alleged that Jones had made a material misrepresentation on an auto insurance claim, a spokesman for DFS explained. The investigation found that Jones’ vehicle was involved in an accident in September but was uninsured at the time. Jones later obtained insurance, then filed a claim.

If convicted of fraud, Jones could face up to five years in prison, said DFS Communications Director Devin Galetta.

News article: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2022/12/08/698606.htm