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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Jacksonville Contractor for Alleged $40,000 AOB Insurance Fraud Scheme

4/16/2019

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest of Jacksonville Contractor for Alleged $40,000 AOB Insurance Fraud Scheme
 
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Wyatt Green, owner of Storm Restoration Specialists LLC, for allegedly stealing more than $40,000 from consumers who assigned their insurance benefits to him through Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contracts. Green and his staff allegedly forged customer signatures on construction documents and insurance claim payment checks that required signatures from both the homeowner and mortgage lender. An AOB gives a third-party authority to file a claim, make repair decisions and collect insurance payments without the homeowners' involvement.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “This case is another example of a bad contractor scamming Floridians and pocketing the money without actually making repairs. AOBs were once used to protect Floridians but recently, assigning your benefits over to a contractor has become an abusive practice.
 
“When they hire a company, consumers should have peace of mind that work is being completed and not have to worry about being left high and dry by a contractor. My detectives work hard every day to find these criminals and stop them from preying on homeowners.”
 
CFO Patronis’ detectives discovered that Green was hired by four homeowners to perform contracting work. Green’s office would directly receive insurance checks that required three signatures—one from the homeowner, one from the mortgage lender, and one from Storm Restoration Specialists LLC. Allegedly, Green directed his staff to forge homeowners’ signatures on the checks as well as added the mortgage lenders' endorsement before depositing the checks into his bank account. This investigations revealed that Green and his employees purchased 58 false bank endorsement stamps from a online manufacturer to aid in this scam.
 
Employees of Green also admitted to allegedly forging customer signatures on construction documents required by counties and municipalities. In some cases, construction work was never completed, and in others the work never even began.
 
Green was booked into the Duval County Jail on April 12, on charges of Organized Scheme to Defraud, Grand Theft and Forgery. If convicted, Green faces up to 35 years in prison.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).