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Scuba diving shop in Doral issued fake certifications, authorities say

Abdiel Falcon ran a fraudulent operation out of Ocean Hunters Dive Center in Miami-Dade's Doral neighborhood

DORAL, Fla. – Ocean Hunters, a scuba diving instructor in Doral, was issuing fraudulent scuba diving certification courses, authorities said Tuesday.

Attorney General Pam Bondi file a complaint against Ocean Hunters Dive Center, 4005 NW 114 Ave., in Doral. The complaint said the shop charged about 300 people between $149 to $399 for the fraudulent certification cards.

"My wife and I were recently getting ready to go on a very expensive dive vacation thinking that the certification that she received from Ocean Hunters was legitimate," said Yelp user Timothy K., a year ago. "This dive shop and its instructor are a disgrace to the diving community."

The store owner, Abdiel Falcon, is accused of lying to customers. Authorities are seeking to ban him from providing any open water scuba diving instruction.

Falcon was not an authorized Professional Association of Diving Instructor, as he claimed to be. Authorities said he is facing civil penalties amounting to $10,000 per violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Falcon is also facing a penalty of $15,000 for each violation involving senior citizens, and reimbursement for fees and costs associated with the investigation and litigation.