Five local residents were arrested for their involvement in a staged car accident scheme to defraud. The defendants were arrested in this county and will mostly likely be charged with insurance fraud, grand theft and staging an automobile accident. It is not known how many counts will be filed by the state attorney's office against the defendants. Anyone charged with these types of crimes should seek out experienced Miami criminal defense lawyers that have defended staged accident cases. The investigation in this case was led by the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud. This agency typically investigates insurance fraud throughout the state of Florida. The defendants purportedly contrived the fake accident and and put their plan into motion. The participants in the accident sought treatment at Doral Center Rehab and Justin Medical Services. The clinics allegedly billed $83,000 to several insurance companies for services that were not necessary or never performed.
For years, Florida has been battling insurance fraud and staged accident cases. The problem got so bad the Florida Legislature modified the laws involving staged accident cases. The Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud is going after everyone involved in staged accident. Their main goal is to shut down clinics involved in fraud and to put the clinic owners in prison or jail. Doctors are also being prosecuted and typically required to forfeit their medical licenses in exchange for staying out of jail and rather receiving a probation plea. Prosecutors handling these cases in Miami are assigned to a specialized unit with sole purpose of prosecuting insurance fraud.
These prosecutors typically work from the bottom up pleading out the secretaries and receptionists in an effort to go after the people who reaped the most benefit from the fraud.
Insurance fraud is committed when a person presents, prepares written or oral statements in support of an insurance claim knowing that the statement contains false, incomplete or misleading information concerning any fact or thing medical to a claim. It is also unlawful for anyone to solicit others to become involved in a staged accidents with the intent and purpose of filing false motor vehicle tort claims. Anyone who plans and solicits others to participate in a staged accident with the intent to commit insurance fraud can be charged with a second degree felony and is also facing a two year minimum mandatory prison sentence. Anyone being investigated for insurance fraud for participating in staged accident schemes should speak with a qualified defense attorney as soon as possible.
There are a few things to remember when an individual is charged with insurance fraud. Obtain criminal representation as soon as possible. Never speak to criminal investigators. Under the constitution, everyone has the right to remain silent. Any statements can and will be used to prosecute someone. Never speak to your co-defendants, as they may agree to cooperate with the prosecution and those statements can be used in court as well. In general, staged accident and insurance fraud cases are created after lengthy investigation. Hundreds of documents and CD's will be provided to the defense at the beginning of the case. All of this information needs to be reviewed to determine the strength of the state's case. Only after a complete and thorough investigation of the case and the corresponding discovery can an informed opinion be made on how to defend the case.
Five PIP Fraud Arrests Made in Miami, PropertyCasualty360.com, October 26, 2011.