Man faces 114 charges in alleged $2 million unclaimed property fraud scheme
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - A Miami man is facing 114 charges stemming from an alleged scheme to defraud the state’s Division of Unclaimed Property.
The man is out after posting a $178,000 bond and prosecutors are just now getting their heads around the scope of the alleged crimes.
According to charging documents from the Department of Financial Services, Alvero Abreu is accused of illegally claiming more than $2 million from the Division of Unclaimed Property in a fraud scheme that spanned more than a decade.
Abreu was apprehended and booked in Broward County before he was released on a $178,000 bond, but his prosecution will take place in the state’s capital city.
“We will be filing formal charges probably within the next week,” said State Attorney of Florida’s 2nd Judicial Circuit Jack Campbell.
Campbell is in the early stages of understanding the scope of the alleged crimes.
“This is the first time I’ve seen anything involving the unclaimed property particularly. And certainly it’s a large fraud in general,” said Campbell.
The Division of Unclaimed Property is responsible for holding onto and facilitating the return of money or valuables Floridians may have forgotten about like old bank accounts or abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Campbell himself has taken advantage of the service.
“I think I had a utility deposit from when I was in college. I never realized that I didn’t get that money back. 20 years later it was sitting in the bureau of unclaimed property,” said Campbell.
Campbell added the crimes alleged in this case aren’t just a concern for the state coffers.
“You’re really stealing from two. One, the rightful owner of that property. Just like with my utility deposit when I got that back. It was my money that I put down and I just failed to get it back when I moved,” said Campbell.
The Department of Financial Services had been working on the case as far back as 2017.
The charging documents also list a second suspect Christopher Abreu, whose last known address is listed in Venezuela.
According to the Department of Financial Services, Abreu is accused of making a total of $2,036,122.68 in fraudulent claims between 2009 and 2020.
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