Authorities in Florida arrested a roofing contractor on charges related to allegedly conducting unlicensed roof replacement scheme that defrauded homeowners out of more than $41,000 in insurance claims.
A release from the Florida Department of Financial Services reports John Sutton, manager of Kaizen Construction Group in Thonotosassa, Fla., was arrested March 24 on chrges of Filing a False and Fraudulent Insurance Claim, Grand Theft, Unlicensed Contracting, and Failure to Obtain Workers Compensation coverage.
If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 25 years in prison.
From August 2021 to February 2022, Kaizen Construction Group allegedly presented itself as a licensed roofing company and had salesmen go door to door, instructing homeowners on what to say to insurance companies to initiate a claims process for a roof replacement. Kaizen's salesmen reportedly had homeowners sign a “Direct to Pay” after claim numbers were issued. Sutton never pulled any permits to initiate or complete roof replacements.
"To do business in the state of Florida, you either have to do it the right way, or not at all,” said Jimmy Patronis, Florida Department of Financial Services chief financial officer, in a statement. “If you attempt to scam the system to line your own pockets, our fraud detectives will catch you and make sure that justice is served.”
Further investigation revealed that neither Sutton, nor the Kaizen Construction Group, was properly licensed or insured to conduct roofing business in the State of Florida. Sutton allegedly later made a statement saying that he has victimized hundreds of homeowners throughout the state. Kaizen Construction Group is listed as “permanently closed" on Google.
“Insurance fraud like this drives up insurance rates for all Floridians,” said Patronis. “Thank you to my dedicated fraud detectives at the Bureau of Insurance Fraud, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for all of their hard work in helping solve this case."