Julian Garcia-Selleck of Miami, Florida has been arrested for allegedly defrauding South Florida’s largest insurer out of almost $100,000 in water damage claims. Officials said Garcia-Selleck’s alleged fraud scheme will cause tax rate hikes “for many years to come.”
Garcia-Selleck is being charged with several counts of insurance fraud and grand theft, and one count each of acting as an unlicensed adjuster and scheme to defraud. If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years. News sources did not name an attorney for Garcia-Selleck.
According to Florida’s Department of Financial Services, Garcia-Selleck reportedly acted as an unlicensed adjuster for four years. He is accused of meeting homeowners who wanted help with handling their insurance claims against Citizens Property Insurance.
Garcia-Selleck allegedly promised to assist homeowners with the claims process by filing claims on their behalf. He then purportedly hired an artist to paint fake water stains on walls, floors, and ceilings of homes in order to increase the water damage claims or to create fake water damage claims.
Garcia-Selleck also reportedly hired public notaries to notarize fraudulent damage claims and forge homeowner signatures. He then purportedly sent these claims to insurance companies without the homeowners’ consent or knowledge. In total, the Department of Financial Services claims that Garcia-Selleck cashed almost $100,000 worth of claims checks from insurance companies.
The artist and four notaries Garcia-Selleck reportedly hired for his fraud scheme were arrested in 2013 and 2015 respectively in connection with the case. Three of the notaries and the artist allegedly confessed and cooperated with the investigation.
Citizens Property Insurance has approved hefty premium hikes in the past two years to counter the effects of fraud schemes by unlicensed third parties. The company’s CEO, Barry Gilway, told news sources that premiums will continue to increase “for years to come” if the state legislature doesn’t pass laws restricting unlicensed third parties from pursuing claims on behalf of homeowners.