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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest in $90,000 Miami Workers’ Compensation Premium Fraud Scheme

3/23/2021

MIAMI – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Pablo Reyes, owner of Lanza Construction Corporation, for workers' compensation premium fraud and grand theft for allegedly concealing payroll information to avoid paying more than $90,000 in workers’ compensation premiums.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Businesses carrying the proper workers’ compensation coverage is critical to ensuring their employees are protected. In Florida, those who seek to avoid paying their premiums will be apprehended and held responsible. I appreciate the hard work of my insurance fraud detectives for their thorough investigation. Thank you to Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for working to seek justice in this case.”

An investigation was conducted by CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative & Forensic Services (DIFS), Bureau of Workers Compensation Fraud revealed that the owner of Lanza Construction Corporation, Pablo Reyes, actively concealed payroll to avoid paying a higher workers’ compensation premium. During the investigation, detectives discovered that the company cashed more than $1 million in labor instead of the $41,600 Reyes had originally reported when obtaining the policy with Retail First Insurance Company. Had the payroll been properly reported, Lanza Construction Corporation would have been charged a total of $100,535 in workers’ compensation premium. To date, Retail First Insurance Company has only collected roughly $10,000 in premiums. Lanza Construction Corporation effectively avoided more than $90,000 in workers’ compensation premiums based on the owners' alleged fraudulent actions.

Pablo Reyes was arrested on March 19, 2021 and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County. Reyes faces charges of workers' compensation premium fraud and grand theft. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).