Tampa-area roofers accused of faking damage, inflating insurance claims, CFO says

Closeup of house roof top covered with ceramic shingles. Tiled covering of building.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Four employees at a Tampa-area roofing company are accused of purposefully damaging homeowners’ roofs and filing fraudulent property insurance claims with state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, according to Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

Paul Vatour, the former vice president of sales for Castle Roofing Company, and three employees — Kiana Vatour, Robert Lusk Sr., and Robert Lusk Jr. — allegedly engaged in an “ongoing course of business practices to defraud insurance companies and homeowners” between September 2019 and October 2020, officials said.

Patronis said a Citizens Property Insurance investigation found that the claims submitted by Castle employees had a “pattern of damage consistent with man-made manipulation of roof coverings.”

Castle employees were also allegedly caught on video damaging roofs that they said had sustained wind damage, according to Patronis.

“There’s no end to how low bad actors will go to try and get a piece of your insurance claim,” Patronis said in a statement. “Faking roof damage and inflating insurance claims is not only wrong, it’s a driving cause behind the rise of home insurance premiums for every single Floridian.”

Paul Vator was reportedly training employees to fake roof damage for false insurance claims, Patronis said.

All four face charges of grand theft, criminal use of personal ID, aggravated white collar crime, and insurance fraud, according to Patronis.

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