A Galveston attorney is facing felony charges of insurance fraud, barratry — known colloquially as ambulance chasing — and money laundering related to several fraudulent hail lawsuits.
Christopher Bertini surrendered to authorities in Tarrant County this week and was released on $5,000 bond, according to Tarrant County Sheriff's Office records and a news release from the Texas Department of Insurance on Friday.
Bertini’s arrest follows his indictment by a Tarrant County grand jury earlier this month, which issued a four-count indictment of Bertini after a Texas Department of Insurance fraud investigation, the release states.
If convicted, Bertini faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Bertini on Friday told The Daily News: “I cannot make any statements.” As of Friday, The State Bar of Texas lists Bertini as eligible to practice law in Texas. An internet search shows that his law practice at 2415 Ave. D in Galveston is permanently closed.
No one from the Texas Department of Insurance was available for comment on Friday.
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 the release.
Tarrant County prosecutor John Newbern presented the case to the grand jury, according to the release.
Newbern wasn’t immediately available for comment.