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Miami-Dade continues to be rattled with Insurance Fraud


There must be an “Insurance Fraud Scheme” school in Miami-Dade. The authorities Wednesday arrested 20 people, including a public adjuster, in a conspiracy that they say was repeated a dozen times over five years.

According to authorities, the ringleaders behind a $1.4 million insurance scam veered little from the script that they put in place and has worked since its inception in 2007.

They started by finding accomplices who rented big houses in South Miami-Dade, which they then filled with used furniture, clothing and other items from stores like Goodwill, authorities say. Then they would take out renter’s insurance policies.

After a few months, these renters would “accidentally” leave a candle-burning next to a fake plant or some other flammable item, sparking a fire that would burn the homes interior. They would subsequently file insurance claims for as much as $120.000.

In many cases, they would use the same burnt furniture, lamps and even family pictures from one house to the next. The ringleaders were:

  • Gustavo Adrian Godinez Diaz,30
  • Alina Nunez, 51, a public adjuster
  • Maria Julia Ferrer, 23
  • Raul J. Ferrer, 22
  • Beltis Cabrera, 22
  • Camilo Cabrera Ramos, 45
  • Lizbeth de la Nunez, 41

The “straw renters” arrested in the case were:

  • Yanet Sanchez Baldeiche, 39
  • Carlos A. Cabrera Castillo, 49
  • Daylin Espinosa, 20
  • Mercedes Ferrer, 49
  • Higinio A. Garcia, 87
  • Teresa Garcia, 48
  • Raul Hernandez, 47
  • Mailliwnia Jimenez, 29
  • Jorge L. Milanes, 46
  • Maribel Melendi Mora, 29
  • Ceilin Arencibia Perez, 32
  • Mario Morales Perez, 42
  • Eduardo Rodriguez Rodriguez, 33

Operation Candlelight was a co-operative investigation of the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Economic Crimes and Arson Division and the Florida Division of the Fire Marshal.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle states that about 40 percent of the fraud in Florida is committed in Miami-Dade.

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