A Florida man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting homes on fire in an insurance scam.
Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr., who owned the public adjuster company Nationwide Adjusters, pleaded guilty to racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, organized scheme to defraud, more than 28 counts of arson, and multiple counts of insurance fraud and grand theft, according to local news affiliate ABC 10. In addition to his prison sentence, Espinosa must pay $1.9 million in restitution.
Prosecutors said that Espinosa was one of several people charged in a series of investigations. They allege that Espinosa intentionally set multiple homes on fire and caused water damage to other homes in order to file fraudulent insurance claims. He also recruited homeowners in Miami-Dade, Lee, and Collier counties.
“The insurance fraud ring that Jorge Fausto Espinosa Sr. led gave a sense of professionalism and expertise to the age-old crime of theft,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “Insurance policyholders were Espinosa’s real victims. This is a wonderful result for the hard-working prosecutors, police and fire investigators who put this complex case together and worked it to its proper ending.”
Prosecutors said that the scam cost insurance companies and policyholders more than $14 million, according to ABC 10.