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.

Aaron West: 409-683-5246; aaron.west@galvnews.com


(7) comments

Gary Scoggin

We need to see more of this. Like how an attorney can manage to reach out to 50,000 people.

Randy Chapman

This newspaper was a big help, along with local TV. On the bright side, his lawsuit didn't work out as well as the 50K liars thought it would.

George Croix

If this is a trend where law against barratry is to actually be enforced again, there is more than one local, and former local, attorney that must be chewing their fingernails......
This could also be tough on sellers of card tables and renters of temporary 'claim filing' locations..........[whistling]

Rusty Schroeder

Did you see his commercial on Christmas night ? Between A&M and running for Mayor of Houston, he must have made a ton off BP.[thumbdown][thumbdown]

George Croix

Few things are more disheartening than KNOWING, because one was personally THERE, that a claim(s) of injury/harm/whatever is totally bogus, but the accused, all but once, rather than fight, rolls over and P's on it's own belly.....
Perhaps it's equally bad knowing one's neighbors/fellow citizens, by the thousands, are scamming opportunists hoping for a quick big payday and willing to say whatever necessary to go for that brass ring...........

Gary Scoggin

BP didn’t roll over on the 50,000 plaintiff lawsuit. They fought it, went to court on a few cases, and convinced the Buzzard it was a loser. He made a lot of money off of BP but not on that suit.

George Croix

That's why I wrote "...all but once..."...

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