CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrest of Miami Boat Captain in Sinking of $1.86 Million Yacht
Contact: Anna Alexopoulos
TALLAHASSEE, FL—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrest today of a Miami boat captain on a first-degree grand theft charge for allegedly sinking a $1.86 million yacht in 2009 off the Bahamas. Robert Figueredo, 49, was arrested by detectives from the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF).
“There is no such thing as a victimless crime,” CFO Atwater said. “Those who reap the spoils of perpetuating fraud victimize every Florida consumer. Those who cheat their fellow Floridians out of their hard-earned dollars will be captured and put behind bars.”
The division initiated an investigation into the sinking of the 80-foot yacht “Star One” reported stolen from Key Biscayne on May 4, 2009, one day after it was discovered scuttled in an area known as the “Tongue of the Ocean” offshore from the Bahamas.
Suspicions of Figueredo’s involvement were initially raised by a statement from Figueredo’s ex-girlfriend, who told police that he had bragged to her that he had sunk the boat deliberately.
Figueredo gave a sworn statement to the insurance company that he had no knowledge of the theft, and he was completely unaware of who had taken the Star One. Federal Insurance Company received the claim for the sunken boat.
Figueredo was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail. If convicted on the charge, he faces up to 30 years in prison. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is prosecuting the charge.
Anyone with information about these or any other incidents of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $275,000 to more than 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.