Orange City Woman Charged With Irma Insurance Scam


Orange City, FL - An Orange City woman is charged with scamming homeowners through filing false and fraudulent claims on victims homes following Hurricane Irma. Investigators from Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis office say that 50-year-old Mary Bruce stole $14,000 from homeowners. Following Irma in September 2017, investigators found that Bruce contacted roofing companies and homeowners, falsely identifying herself as a "claims manager." CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "After a hurricane, Florida families are incredibly vulnerable and my fraud teams ensure that scammers who take advantage are found and thrown in jail." Patronis went on, "Report these incidents so we can get these criminals off the streets and deter others from committing these crimes." Bruce allegedly said she could increase prior hurricane settlements up to $30,000. Bruce required homeowners to sign over Power of Attorney, then submitted adjusted claims to the insurance companies. Bruce is charged with being an unlicensed public adjuster and filing of false and fraudulent lien. Her bond was set at $5,000. If convicted, Bruce could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.