“Operation Crash Clinic” Results in 15 Arrests; 3 Clinics Shutdown1, Rings & Mills — By Trace America on April 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM
Numerous Florida residents from the Miami area have been arrested for taking part in “Operation Crash Clinic,” which is one of many similar insurance fraud scams that is partly responsible for Florida’s high car insurance premiums.
According to CBS News, a news conference was held on April 26th with Miami Police and insurance company representatives, discussing the investigation into “Operation Crash Clinic.” That undercover probe resulted in 15 arrests and three clinics getting shut down.
Police said the clinics were billing insurance companies for injuries that never happened and care that was never provided, but what they didn’t know was that some of these “phony patients” were undercover cops.
Among those arrested are the owners of the clinics, along with doctors, therapists, and receptionists; all of whom are being charged with taking part of this massive insurance scam.
According to WSVN-TV, the three South Florida clinics involved with the scam are Paradise Cosmetic Center, Family Therapy, and Excellent Group.
Essentially, the scammers would just stage car crashes. Sometimes, however, it was as simple as pulling the accident reports from public records and recruiting patients who weren’t injured to receive treatments that weren’t provided.
“The therapists signs off on giving you massages and therapy for 30 days that you were only there once and then the doctor signs off on it and then the owners bill the insurance companies,” explained Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa.
Authorities state that the “patients” never actually received services, but the clinics still billed insurance companies for over $80,000.
Police also note that insurance PIP fraud is a multi-billion dollar epidemic in Miami, with the perpetrators operating predominately out of Little Havana, Flagami and the Coral Way areas.
During these scams, everyone involved gets a cut of the profits, including the clinics, runners and patients.
Miami Police Sgt. Luis Taborda stated, “We got to wake up to this because we’re all victims. If you live here in Florida, Florida is like one of the highest states when it comes to what you’re paying in premiums.”
Florida is now the third-most expensive state for insurance fraud, with an average premium of $1,055 for auto insurance; and according to industry reports, they only recently surpassed New York.
The 13 subjects are now facing a long list of charges. Orosa said, “Most of them have been arrested for sale and possession of controlled substances, grand theft, organized fraud, insurance claim fraud, occupation brokering, which all stem from staged car accidents.”
This post is authored by Trace America.