Woman arrested in Lake Worth, charged in insurance fraud
A Miami woman was arrested in Lake Worth last Thursday after investigators say she defrauded an insurance company out of millions of dollars.
Carmen Montalvo-Rivera, 40, was arrested and charged with fraud on the evening of Oct. 27. She was released early Friday morning after posting $47,500 bond.
According to an arrest report made public Friday, Montalvo-Rivera created a “shell” company, Enterprises Remodeling Group Inc., and paid uninsured employers to do construction work. When the job was done, the contractor would make a check to Enterprises Remodeling Group, which Montalvo-Rivera would then cash at check-cashing agencies around South Florida.
Montalvo-Rivera took out a worker’s compensation insurance policy for Enterprises Remodeling Group with SUNZ Insurance Company, based in Bradenton. Detectives say Montalvo-Rivera severely underreported her company’s wages to the insurance company, at $26,665, whereas actual wages for Enterprise Remodeling Group Inc. was $4,307,092.48.
Had Montalvo-Rivera accurately reported her income, detectives say her insurance premium would have increased from $1,796 to between $327,000 and $525,000.
Investigators allege that the fraud happened from June 1 until Montalvo-Rivera was arrested on Oct. 27. In order to avoid detection from her insurance agency, Montalvo-Rivera cashed checks made out to Enterprises Remodeling Group at check-cashing stores and then paid the workers in cash, detectives said.
On the day of her arrest, Broward Sheriff’s deputies followed her from BMI Financial near Deerfield Beach to Montalvo-Rivera’s insurance agent’s office in Pompano Beach, and then to Lake Worth Financial where deputies arrested her. According to the report, records indicate Montalvo-Rivera conducted business transactions of more than $100,000 in Palm Beach County.