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Thursday, 24 May 2012 21:13

Florida Shop Owner Arrested for Impersonating Adjuster

A Florida body shop owner was charged with impersonating an insurance adjuster for three carriers at accident scenes to generate more business for his auto body shop, police say.

Vincenzo Gurrera, 43, of Boynton Beach, FL, became the subject of an investigation after numerous complaints were filed against his shop, Collision World, at 610 Industrial Ave, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office and the Sun Sentinel newspaper.

Between August 2011 and April, Gurrera allegedly impersonated an adjuster from GEICO, Liberty Mutual or State Farm, giving specific directions to people to take their cars to his shop for repairs. It would often take weeks for the companies to find out about Gurrera’s transaction, the sheriff’s office said. The routine allegedly began in August 2011 and continued to April of this year.

Those involved in the crashes told investigators they signed Gurrera’s release forms because they thought Gurrera was a “legitimate insurance representative.”
Each victim identified Gurrera in a photo line-up, authorities said.

Detectives received four sworn affidavits from the three insurance companies, which stated Gurrera does not currently work, and has never worked, as an insurance adjuster for their companies. The Florida Department of Financial Services confirmed to investigators that Gurrera was not licensed.

Anyone who suspects they are being lured into an insurance scam should call the Department of Financial Services at 877-693-5236.

According to investigators, Gurrera was possibly receiving accident information from crash scenes and then filing claims based on that information. In Florida, however, accident reports are not released for 60 days after the crash.

Police recommended that consumers who believe they were affected contact the Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers for assistance, or to report a possible scam.

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