JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Prosecutors have filed 18 new felony grand theft charges against a Jacksonville contractor who has been at the center of an I-TEAM investigation for more than a year, and after a procedural bond hearing Friday on those new charges, Wyatt Green was released on his own recognizance
Homeowners, including Hurricane Irma victims, had contacted us saying that although their insurance companies had paid Green -- the owner of Storm RS -- to make repairs to their homes, the work was not completed.
Green was originally arrested in April by insurance fraud investigators with Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis' office on three felony charges: organized fraud, forgery and grand theft. Investigators have accused Green of forging homeowners' signatures and using stamps that were purchased online with the names of mortgage companies to fraudulently endorse insurance checks. By doing that, investigators say Green pocketed the money instead of making customers' repairs.
Their investigation has continued since Green's arrest and Wednesday morning, prosecutors explained to the Duval County judge that their list of victims has since expanded from a handful of victims to 19. Because of that, they have filed additional grand theft charges. He now faces:
- 1 count organized fraud: first-degree felony punishable up to 30 years in prison
- 1 count forgery: third-degree felony punishable up to 5 years in prison
- 7 counts grand theft: second-degree felonies punishable up to 15 years in prison for each count
- 12 counts grand theft: third-degree felonies punishable up to 5 years in prison for each count
According to court documents, John Walsh is one of the new victims that led prosecutors to file additional charges of grand theft against Green.
Walsh told the I-TEAM he hired Storm RS in December 2018 to repair his leaking roof and signed an assignment of benefits form allowing Storm RS to be paid by Walsh's insurance company for the repairs. While he said nearly $5,000 was paid to Storm RS, no work has been done.
"I'm a senior citizen, I'm on disability for the Navy," said Walsh. "That's money I don't have."
After hiring Storm RS, Walsh said he learned later that the business merged with Rogero Roofing and Construction. We confirmed through the city of Jacksonville's permit database that a permit was paid using Rogero Roofing's license in March, and Walsh said a dumpster was dropped off two months later at his home. However, Walsh said the dumpster was picked up and removed the very next day without any work being done.
"It made me feel used and taken advantage of. I tried to contact them so many times, I have it on my phone. I must have contacted them 200 times and every time it goes to voicemail," Walsh explained.
At Friday's bond hearing for the 18 additional felony charges added against Green earlier this week, prosecutors wanted an additional $25,000 bond for each new victim named in their case. But, Green's defense attorney argued Green is a first-time offender, a father of four, not a flight risk, and said he has abided by all the rules of the court -- including the updated bond condition requiring him not to gamble.
You may recall, one month after Green was first arrested in April, new bond rules were put in place for him after he was spotted by the I-TEAM betting thousands of dollars at a poker room. The State Attorney's Office then had his bond conditions changed to prohibit him from betting or gambling while his case moves forward through the court system.
The judge agreed with Green's attorney and released him with imposing any additional bond. Green's next court hearing is set for Oct. 8.
Fraud investigators looking into Green and his business have also charged three others. Brandon Williams, Chantel Williams and Tina Nettles are all charged with felony forgery. Chantel Williams and Tina Nettles both face a second felony charge related to notarizing documents known to be fraudulent. All three are free on bond.