Lee and Cates Glass VP Scott Cates Pleads Guilty to Fraud Charges
December 22, 2010

Lee and Cates Glass Inc.'s vice president of operations Scott Cates has pleaded guilty to the fraud charges brought against him in August 2009, according to information from the Duval County Circuit Court. In the case, which stemmed from an investigation by the Florida Financial Services Department's Division of Insurance Fraud, Cates was charged with scheming to defraud, filing false and fraudulent insurance claims (ranging from $20,000 to $100,000), conspiracy to file false insurance claims and the violation of racketeering laws.

Cates previously had pleaded not guilty, but withdrew that plea on December 17 and replaced it with a guilty plea. He was sentenced to one year house arrest followed by two years’ probation, along with 100 hours’ community service. He also has been ordered to pay $20,000 restitution and court costs that have mounted to more than $5,000.

Tom Lee Jr., president of Lee and Cates Glass in Jacksonville, Fla., provided the following statement to glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR regarding the plea and sentence: “This company has stood and will continue to stand by Scott Cates and, as he said in court, he is innocent and I respect Scott for making an incredibly difficult decision to bring closure to this issue.”

Cates’ arrest came after an investigation that was launched in April 2009 by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.

The state claims that four Lee and Cates locations overbilled numerous insurance companies more than $540,000 on more than 1,300 separate fraudulent insurance claims. Specifically, the Division of Insurance Fraud alleged that the company overbilled windshields and associated parts by billing insurance companies for dealer windshields while installing cheaper parts.

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