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CFO Atwater Announces Arrest of Miami Public Adjuster in Attempted $2 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme

3/10/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Jeff Atwater announced today the surrender of public adjuster Erasmo Zorilla in Miami who attempted to defraud the North Pointe Casualty Insurance Company out of almost $2.5 million in an insurance claim associated with Hurricane Wilma. 

“This is yet another example of the unscrupulous insurance fraud schemes pulling money out of the pockets of Floridians and reputable businesses,” said CFO Atwater. “We will continue to work hard to fight fraud and protect your hard earned money.”

Zorilla surrendered to detectives from the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud and Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations. He is charged with grand theft in the first degree and insurance fraud in the first degree after the investigation showed he had attempted to obtain $2,442,774 from North Pointe Casualty Insurance Company for roof replacement for the buildings at Country Club of Miami.  Zorilla was employed by Five Star Claims Adjusting Company, who was retained to represent the owners of Country Club of Miami in a supplemental Hurricane Wilma claim. 

In May 2010, Zorilla submitted paperwork to North Pointe indicating that the tile on the roofs was not available any more, and that all of the roofs would have to be retiled to ensure they matched.  Investigators contacted the distributor who advised no one had ever shown them a sample from that location.  Investigators then spoke to the original supplier of the roofing tiles at the site, and discovered they are readily available. Zorilla stated he conducted his inspection by standing outside of his car and looking up at some of the buildings and seeing some tile damage. 

Zorilla was arrested and transported to Dade County Jail, where he will be held pending posting of $20,000 bond.

This case is part of a continuing crackdown by CFO Atwater’s Property and Casualty Insurance Fraud Task Force.  If you or someone you know has been the victim of insurance fraud please visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com for more information or call our toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud.  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.