TALLAHASSEE – November 7, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Florida CFO Jeff Atwater today announced the arrest of Miami bail bondsman David Rodriguez, 47, on grand theft charges. The arrest follows a joint investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud and its Division of Agent & Agency Services into a 2013 incident in which the defendant stole $16,000 that was supposed to pay a client’s bond.
“Floridians seeking the services bail bondsmen are putting their trust in someone during a vulnerable moment in their life, and we cannot allow anyone to take advantage of it,” said CFO Atwater. “Failing to pay a bond agreement is a dishonorable act that only makes an already difficult situation worse for families, and I’m proud of my team for helping hold this man accountable for his actions.”
The investigation revealed that despite collecting all of the necessary funds from a Margate man to bond out his son, Rodriguez failed to turn over the funds to Fire Line Bail Bond as required by law to execute the bond. After several inquiries were made to determine his son’s release date, to which Rodriguez provided no timeline, the victim expressed his dissatisfaction and requested a refund. Rodriquez refused to give a refund and cut off communication between the two parties. Records show that all funds drafted from the victim’s bank account were endorsed and cashed by David Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is being held without bond and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government; reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses; and providing transparency and accountability in spending.