Volume 3 Number 47
November 20, 2006

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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR INSURANCE FRAUD, ALTERING DEATH CERTIFICATE


A 40-year-old Tampa woman was arrested Friday for the second time since 2003 for allegedly filing a fraudulent insurance claim and altering a death certificate, this time to collect on a $20,000 life insurance policy she took out on herself.

Jean Rodriguez Fontalvo faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the charges stemming from an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.

“I commend the investigators in this case for preventing this woman from carrying out her scheme a second time,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department. “We are sending a clear message that we will not tolerate abuse of our citizens, and fraud steals from our citizens.”

Investigators said the woman took out the life insurance policy in 2005 under the name Jean Rodriguez, then early this year, claiming to be her sister Jean Fontalvo, tried to collect on the policy by altering a death certificate with the name Jean Rodriquez.
Investigators say that Fontalvo has no sister by the name of Jean Fontalvo.

The same fraud detective who made Friday’s arrest conducted the investigation that led to Fontalvo’s arrest and conviction in 2003 for the same thing – only the first time Fontalvo received $15,000 from a life insurance policy after claiming her still-living husband had died. She served two years in prison and had been out of jail for about four months when she allegedly tried to repeat the scheme.

Fontalvo was released from the Orient Road Jail on Friday after posting bond. Bail was set at $11,500.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.