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Bay County Roofing Company Operators Face Charges of Racketeering, Workers Compensation Fraud

8/29/2002

TALLAHASSEE - A Wewahitchka man and his son are facing charges of racketeering and workers compensation fraud stemming from schemes the two allegedly used to avoid more than $1.5 million in premiums for employees of their Bay County roofing business. The charges are the result of a joint investigation by the Florida Department of Insurance and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

John Wesley Carter, 62, was arrested Monday by an FDLE agent with the assistance of the Gulf County Sheriff's Office. His 31-year-old son Michael David Carter, of Panama City, surrendered yesterday. The two operate Carter Roofing Company.

Investigators believe the men began a pattern of fraud as early as 1994, leading to the one count against each for violation of the Florida Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). They allegedly defrauded the State of Florida, at least two insurance companies and numerous individuals.

The Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the charges. The filed charges include activities in, or had a direct effect on, the first, ninth, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th judicial circuits of Florida.

The above charges are merely accusations. The arrested defendants are presumed innocent until and unless these charges are proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Department of Insurance, 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 Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.