The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today arrested Giselle Avila, vice president of The Valenti Group Insurance, Inc. in Miami, for insurance fraud after she knowingly misled a consumer in order to obtain a higher commission payout. Investigators also determined that Avila prepared and issued a fictitious notice of reinstatement for the consumer’s homeowner insurance policy in an attempt to conceal that it had been canceled.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, alongside Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, today announced 30 more arrests made during the second wave of a collaborative state and local operation known as “Operation Flames and Floods.” The investigation exposed an extensive scheme in which a Miami public adjuster named Jorge Espinosa recruited homeowners to stage fire and water damage claims in residential homes in order to defraud multiple insurance companies. Previously arrested in February 2014 for crimes related to this fraud ring, investigators have since uncovered 25 more fraudulent claims tied to Espinosa, representing total losses of more than $14 million.
The state wants to make it easier for military firefighters to become certified to be firefighters in Florida.
"They have the skill sets. Let's not have any road barriers in the way and lets make them part of our Florida firefighting service, and help them advance their careers," State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater said.