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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Three Arrests in $39,000 Cell Phone Insurance Fraud Scheme

4/6/2022

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

MIAMI – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Learne Perez, Paul Abelardo Pena Lora, and Leonado P. Pena Lora in Miami-Dade County for an alleged insurance fraud scheme involving the submission of 40 fraudulent warranty claims involving iPhone and Samsung cellular phones to American Bankers Insurance Company (Assurant) in an effort to allegedly defraud the insurance company of more than $39,000.00.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “When you insure a product like your iPhone, you shouldn’t have to pay more in premiums just because someone else gamed the system to line their own pockets. Insurance fraud in all forms drives up insurance rates and is a hidden tax on Florida consumers. Thank you to my fraud investigators for their diligence in this case and to the Miami-Dade State Attorney for bringing these alleged scammers to justice.”

An investigation by CFO Patronis’ Bureau of Insurance Fraud, revealed that from June 2018 to February 2019, Learne Perez, her husband Paul Abelardo Pena Lora, and his twin brother Leonado P. Pena Lora reported their cell phones either lost, stolen or damaged to Assurant Insurance Company for a total of 40 fraudulent insurance claims. Assurant paid the subjects on some of their phone warranty claims for a total of more than $19,000 before discovering the suspicious claims activity. The subjects then allegedly took the cell phones they reported as lost, stolen or damaged, and sold them to several unsuspecting small cellular phone retail stores located throughout Miami for around $500 per phone.

Learne Perez, Paul Abelardo Pena Lora, and Leonado P. Pena Lora were arrested on April 5 and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle will be prosecuting this case.
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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).