A former Miami-Dade County fire inspector was charged Friday with lying to the state when he said he did not make money while collecting workers’ compensation benefits. Anthony Dorta, 46, was charged with filing a false and fraudulent insurance claim, a third-degree felony.
An investigation by the Miami-Dade inspector general, the Florida department of financial services and the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office found that Dorta worked as a handyman while he was supposedly unable to work for the county due to an on-the-job injury to his left knee.
Dorta, a county employee since 2008 whose salary was $51,261, collected more than $143,000 in workers’ compensation benefits from January 2011 to last October, the inspector general’s office said. He has been relieved of duty without pay as a result of the findings, according to the fire-rescue department.
Investigators discovered the fraud while making a case against Jeffrey Lowman, a former fire code-enforcement officer who is awaiting trial on charges that he defrauded taxpayers by running a side fire-inspection business. Lowman also worked as a handyman, investigators found, and Dorta was his assistant.
In one occasion, according to the inspector general, one of Dorta’s co-workers was conducting a fire inspection and saw Dorta painting the floor of an adjacent warehouse.