Florida Fraud Investigation Leads to Arrests in Workers’ Comp Scheme

August 29, 2013

Five individuals from the Tampa Bay area are now facing criminal charges relating to a workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme, following a lengthy investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.

On July 25, 2013 Otto Biltres, owner of Preferred Staffing of America, Inc.; Charles Brown, a licensed insurance agent; and three other individuals were arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail for participating in an organized scheme to defraud and operating without an insurance license.

Biltres allegedly misrepresented Preferred Staffing of America, Inc. as a licensed professional employer organization (PEO) and provider of workers’ compensation insurance coverage. He defrauded clients of more than $130,000 by presenting false company credentials.

Florida licensed insurance agent Charles Brown allegedly assisted Biltres in the workers’ comp fraud scheme by referring companies to Preferred Staffing. In return, Biltres reportedly paid Brown a 45 percent commission. Brown is also accused of aiding Biltres in falsifying the certificates of insurance that Biltres gave to clients.

Kelly Bree Brown, wife of Charles Brown, also faces criminal charges. Ms. Brown and two other unlicensed insurance agents under the employ of Charles Brown are accused of directing client companies to Preferred Staffing in exchange for a commission fee.

The defendants could face up to 30 years in prison if they are convicted.

The Florida Department of Insurance Services rewards individuals who step forward with valid information that leads to arrests in an insurance fraud scheme. The department’s Anti-Fraud Reward Program has paid almost $275,000 to 40 individuals for help in uncovering insurance fraud.