5 adjusters and appraisers charged of accepting kickbacks


27Imagine an auto service would be doing bogus works and conspire with the car owner just to have around $2,000 from the insurance company. Impossible you say, not, really, because that was what High Performance Auto Services personnel and major auto insurance agents turned adjusters and appraisers did. 5 of them were arrested and are charged with racketeering, grand theft as well as petty theft.

The 5 persons who were arrested were: Jermanzine Kirkland, Roy Stella, Roman Hernandez, Eduardo Quinonez and Julio Ravelo. All 5 have been working with Allstate and State Farm Auto Insurance Companies. The latter being the owner of the shop was busted after the Hialeah police department caught him red handed for billing bogus work on different cars with air bags that were deployed. He cooperated with authorities and secretly videotaped adjusters who detectives claimed were accepting kickback.

Roman Hernandez who is an Allstate Insurance agent turned adjuster agreed to accept worth $2,000 from the car owner in exchange for inflating the price of the auto work to as high as $22,149 which was billed to the insurance company. It was later found out that the work was never done on a BMW.

As Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says, while everyone pays these adjusters are the ones enjoying the pay offs and that what insurance fraud is all about.

Kirkland as a defendant has been doing double time. He has been working with Vera Paint and Body Shop while working at State Farm, another auto insurance company. According to the police, Kirkland took payoffs amounting to $1,357 on a damaged Chrysler 300 that the mechanics billed extra dollars with that amount.

From the secretly taped video of the adjusters and Appraisers, they were laughing while counting their share of the money that they never worked for. Amazing how these men are able to do this while others are paying legally and working hard for a work that they thought were done on their cars.

One thing that car insurance companies should do is work closely with car owners to avoid the same thing from happening. When this happens it will then turn out to be a win-win situation. Nobody loses but rather everybody wins. Auto insurance companies should have a policy saying that if car owners are caught to be conspiring with car insurance agents to have a higher payback, it should be stated that the car owner will be imprisoned or pay a penalty that will amount to what was charged to the company.