A licensed public adjuster is alleged to have been the ringleader in a major fraud involving 22 individuals that staged fires and floods at South Florida homes to collect at least $7.6 million in claims from insurance companies.
The public adjuster, Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr., 58, used his position representing people pursuing damage claims with their insurers to fleece companies out of at least $7.6 million, according to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The law enforcement operation was dubbed, “Flames and Floods.”
Officials say Espinosa used associates to recruit homeowners into the fraud, promising a split of the claim. He is facing a racketeering charge that carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence as well as arson, grand theft and conspiracy. Others involved in the scheme are facing similar charges, including grand theft, insurance fraud and arson.
The case involves 17 separate fraudulent insurance claims in the Miami area and in Lee and Collier counties, according to a detective’s affidavit.