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**Photo Release** CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces 9 Arrests in Miami Following Joint Investigation Uncovering $600,000 in Fraud

4/30/2019

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
**Photo Release**
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces 9 Arrests in Miami Following Joint Investigation Uncovering $600,000 in Fraud

MIAMI – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis joined Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez to announce the arrest of nine individuals following over a year-long joint insurance fraud investigation dubbed “Operation Rubicon.” Arrests include individuals and business owners allegedly involved in a large-scale organized scheme to defraud insurance companies out of more than $600,000 in fraudulent insurance claims.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Today, we arrested nine individuals who are the ringleaders of an elaborate fraud scheme, with more arrests to come. I will not stand by and let Floridians pay for higher insurance rates because of criminals gaming the system. Through my Fraud Free Florida initiative, we are expanding our investigative efforts to protect Florida from scam artists. I thank the Miami-Dade Police Department and State Attorney Rundle for coming together with my fraud detectives and bringing these individuals to justice."
 
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, "Effective crime-fighting always relies on effective crime-fighting partnerships.  As this case shows, our great partnership with CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives and the Miami-Dade Police Department will continue to round up those who feel they can get away with the costly crime of insurance fraud.   All involved homeowners and fraud organizers who feel this is an easy crime will face justice."
 
The joint fraud investigation was initiated after several insurance companies notified authorities of suspected fraudulent residential insurance claims in the South Florida and Tampa areas. Detectives believe that The Rubicon Group, a public adjusting company owned by Barbara Maria Gonzalez, committed organized fraud and grand theft. Gonzalez allegedly utilized the services of unscrupulous Florida companies, including water mitigation and restoration companies, insurance agencies and agents, appraisers, and willing homeowners to allegedly commit the fraud.

The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.
 
Arrests made today include:
Barbara Maria Gonzalez
Rafael Exposito
Rigoberto Lopez
Ricardo Alvarez
Jose Gonzalez
Romy Valdespino Rodriguez
Alessandra Kruger
Alicia Pardey
Ricardo Tello

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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).