MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Several people have been arrested in a homeowners insurance fraud scheme.
Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, along with Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez, announced the arrests on Tuesday.
A yearlong investigation named “Operation Rubicon” led to the nine arrests.
Arrests include individuals and business owners allegedly involved in a large-scale organized scheme to defraud insurance companies out of more than $600,000 in fraudulent insurance claims.
Rundle says the scheme was related to water damage claims.
“It’s scams like the one we are describing today that play a huge role in what many believe are exploding insurance rates,” said Rundle. “Effective crime-fighting always relies on effective crime-fighting partnerships. As this case shows, our great partnership with CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives and the Miami-Dade Police Department will continue to round up those who feel they can get away with the costly crime of insurance fraud. All involved homeowners and fraud organizers who feel this is an easy crime will face justice.”
Authorities say the insurance fraud investigation began after legitimate insurance companies in South Florida contacted authorities about possible fraudulent residential insurance claims.
Detectives believe that The Rubicon Group, a public adjusting company owned by Barbara Maria Gonzalez, committed organized fraud and grand theft. Gonzalez allegedly utilized the services of unscrupulous Florida companies, including water mitigation and restoration companies, insurance agencies and agents, appraisers, and willing homeowners to allegedly commit the fraud.
The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.