HOUSTON - A Galveston attorney is facing felony charges of insurance fraud, barratry, and money laundering related to several fraudulent hail claim lawsuits.
Christopher Bertini surrendered to authorities in Tarrant County last week and was released on $5,000 bond.
Bertini was one of three hail attorneys named by Kent Livesay, who was sentenced to five years in prison in June after pleading guilty to insurance fraud and barratry – a scheme that involved illegally paying roofers and adjusters to drum up clients after a hailstorm strike.
The Record attempted to reach Bertini after Livesay fingered him but the website for his law office was no longer active and several phone numbers associated with him and his firm had been disconnected.
Following an investigation by Texas Department of Insurance fraud investigators, a Tarrant County grand jury issued the four-count indictment for Bertini in December.
If convicted, Bertini faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Bertini filed lawsuits against insurance companies over roof claims from hail damage. But instead of clients coming to him, he used third parties to solicit business for the scheme, according to TDI.
The case was presented to the grand jury by Tarrant County prosecutor John Newbern.
Tarrant County is one of five district attorneys’ offices across the state where TDI has prosecutors and investigators on staff focused on fighting insurance fraud.