Five Arrested in Connection with Tampa Area Roofing Fraud
Connecticut and Florida law enforcement agents recently arrested five people who are believed to have perpetrated a mass roofing fraud scam in Florida. The five arrested individuals were all employees of the Tampa-based NRBC Roofing Company and they stand accused of defrauding homeowners out of over a half-a-million dollars in insurance claim funds.
The scam was simple: they would approach homeowners following tropical storms and offer to provide assistance with filing insurance claims to pay for repairs for roofs damaged as the result of storms. From there, the NRBC employees would make promises to assist with the construction and repair of damaged roofs. However, the NRBC employees would pocket the storm insurance funds, without ever performing the promised repairs on the roofs. Florida’s Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud was the government agency that investigated the fraud, and assisted in the locating and arrest of the NRBC employees.
The NRBC Roofing Fraud Charges
The NRBC and its employees stand accused of organizing a $525,000 roofing insurance and construction scheme, which successfully targeted a total of 97 homeowners across Florida in the counties of Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota. The investigation led by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that following a storm, the NRBC employees would convince homeowners that extensive repairs were required for their roofs. They would then provide homeowners with assistance with filing homeowners insurance claims for the required repairs. After filing the claims, the NRBC would use this leverage to convince homeowners to grant the NRBC the sole rights to make the roof repairs, and to also assign the insurance claims benefits to the NRBC. Once the funds were received, the proceeds were pocketed by the NRBC employees, instead of being used to pay subcontractors to make the agreed-upon repairs. These actions left innocent homeowners with liens on their homes, roofs that were never repaired, and claim funds they they could not account for to their insurance companies.
Each of the five employees are being charged with committing the crime of organizing a scheme to defraud an amount greater than $50,000. This charge is a first degree felony under Florida law, and punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The successful arrest of the NRBC roofing fraud perpetrators is considered a big feat for Florida’s Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud. The Department has had great success in the recent past with providing justice and relief to unsuspecting Floridians who have been defrauded. In fact, to date the Department’s Anti-Fraud Reward program has allowed the Department to award over $300,000 in funds to almost 60 Florida residents. However, the complicated nature of the NRBC scheme, in that it involves both construction and insurance fraud, may make it difficult for the victims to recover the stolen funds.
The recent roofing fraud scheme in Tampa illustrates some of the unique schemes that can be perpetrated by seemingly legitimate businesses. If found guilty, the employees face extensive jail sentences and may be forced to pay reparations for the $525,00 in stolen homeowners insurance claim funds.
Are you facing fraud charges in Florida? If so, you need a skilled attorney who will advocate on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to contact criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. in South Florida today.