Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five Pinellas residents arrested in scheme to defraud case

Five north Pinellas County residents accused of running a workers' compensation scheme that cost victims more than $130,000 were arrested last week, the state Department of Financial Services has announced. Those arrested are Otto Biltres, 41, Charles Brown, 38, and Kelly Bree Brown, 34, all of Tarpon Springs; Johnny Alton Lewis, 51, of Clearwater; and Joseph T. Jordan, 50, of Palm Harbor.

Biltres, owner of a temporary staffing agency called Preferred Staffing of America, "misled customers into believing" that his company could provide workers' compensation insurance, officials said. He charged client companies more than $130,000 for compensation insurance and other services, they said.

Biltres is also accused of partnering with Brown, a licensed insurance agent, who referred companies to the agency. Brown is also accused of falsifying insurance certificates for Biltres, who gave him a 45 percent commission for his work, officials said.

Three others, including Brown's wife, Kelly, as well as Jordan and Lewis, are accused of sending client companies to Preferred Staffing of America for commissions.

They face charges that include scheme to defraud, selling insurance without a license, and workers' compensation fraud, jail records show. If convicted, each faces up to 30 years in prison, officials said.

They were all booked into the Pinellas County jail, but were each released July 26 on $30,000 to $100,000 bail.

Five Pinellas residents arrested in scheme to defraud case 08/02/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 2, 2013 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, current and former officials said, according to the Washington Post.

    After President Donald Trump fired James Comey, shown here, as FBI director, the Washington Post is reporting, Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.
  2. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  3. Romano: Time is up chief, make a call on police body cameras


    Excuse me chief, but it's time to take a stand.

    St. Petersburg police Chief Tony Holloway
  4. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  5. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater


    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.