Florida’s Fraud Division Captures a ‘Most-Wanted’

Apr 12, 2011

The following article was posted to PropertyCasualty360º on April 12, 2011:

Florida’s Fraud Division Captures a “Most Wanted”

By Joan E. Collier

A 29-year-old Broward County woman with the intriguing alias of “Sexy Telfort” has been arrested and charged with organized fraud and criminal conspiracy.

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater credits the arrest to information received as a result of the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud’s new “Most Wanted” website. Telfort, whose real first name is Erline, was one of five “Most Wanted” persons listed on the site.

When the website was launched in early April, Atwater said, “Insurance fraud costs the average Florida family between $400 and $700 a year in increased premiums, and I want your help bringing the ‘most wanted’ insurance fraud scammers to justice. Together we can get these crooks off the street, decrease your insurance premiums and put money back in your pocket through our insurance fraud reward program.”

Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.

One Down, Four to Go

Fraud investigators allege that throughout 2009 Telfort and Maralne Raymondville (who was arrested in November 2010 on similar charges), acted as agents for the Santa Maria Insurance Co. and E&M Insurance Services, preparing over 200 fraudulent homeowner insurance policies. The duo deposited over $600,000 into their business account; only about $92,000 was actually paid back to the finance company.

With Telfort’s arrest on what authorities call a “Ponzi” scheme, four other “Most Wanted” persons remain at large for various insurance fraud plots.

Anthony F. Phillips, a 41-year-old male, has been a fugitive since 2005 after being charged with grand theft in the first degree. The division alleges that in November 2003, Phillips, acting as a mortgage broker, helped obtained a $1.2 million mortgage for a buyer to purchase a Ft. Lauderdale condominium. The private lender approved the mortgage and wired the funds to the title company, which in turn wired the $1.2 million to three separate accounts. None of the money was used to purchase the condominium.

Phillips fellow schemers—the title agent and buyer—also were arrested. Phillips fled after being released on bond and so far has evaded capture.

Osvadi Marrero is charged with insurance fraud/staged accident, one of the many auto PIP fraud schemers plaguing Florida.

Investigators allege that in November 2003, Marrero, the 42-year-old owner of Yosuni Medical Center Corp., deliberately crashed his 2003 Humvee into two other cars. Witnesses who called police said it appeared to be a “road rage” incident and that the driver had fled the scene.

However, the drivers of the two other cars told police that only their cars were involved in the accident.

When it was discovered that the participants were promised between $700 and $800 for pretending to be injured, the two drivers and their passengers were arrested for insurance fraud/staged accident, a second-degree felony. Marrero was later arrested at his home; all three vehicles were seized.

In January 2005, while pending resolution of the staged-accident case, Marrero was arrested for paying a runner to provide accident patients to a PIP clinic in which he had a vested interest. Marrero was charged with two counts of patient brokering, two counts of insurance fraud, and two counts of grand theft in that case.

In March 2005, after Marrero failed to report to court as ordered, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The outstanding warrant for Rosa Bajdor, AKA “Rosa Rodguez” and “Rosa Maria Fernandez,” includes grand theft in the third degree; false vehicle insurance card; insurance without a certificate; acting as an insurance agent without a license; and organized fraud.

The 67-year-old Bajdor was arrested in July 2005 for operating a business in which she issued as many as 200 fictitious policies. A warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear for her court date.

A Jacksonville Beach martial arts competitor and restauranteur is wanted for commercial insurance fraud.

In May 2008, Timothy Lance Catalfo, part owner of Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey restaurant, allegedly assisted in filing false/inflated insurance claims for cleanup after the restaurant kitchen was destroyed by a suspicious fire that caused $200,000 in damage.

Catalfo is a well-known Mixed Martial Arts competitor, and officials think he may still be active in the sport. Catalfo is reportedly involved in martial arts clubs and training facilities in the Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach areas. The 52-year-old’s AKA handle is “Obake.”

Find this article here:  http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/04/12/floridas-fraud-division-captures-a-most-wanted