Three Tampa, Fla., clinic employees were arrested on charges of insurance fraud and patient brokering stemming from a personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme, announced Florida chief financial officer Jeff Atwater said.
Danilo Ardian Gonzalez-Alfonso, 37, clinic manager; Lydia Merlo-Fernandez, 23, licensed massage therapist; and Yennier Gutierez Obregon, 23, were all employees of CPS Medical Clinic who allegedly solicited a confidential source to participate in a scheme to file fraudulent claims for services never provided.
During an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, a confidential source met with Obregon and went with him to CPS Medical Center located at 4023 N. Armenia Ave. During multiple visits, Gonzalez-Alfonso and Merlo-Fernandez instructed the source to sign blank therapy sheets and leave the clinic without receiving any treatment.
All three suspects were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail today and are awaiting bond. If convicted on the charges, they each face up to 10 years in prison.
The case is part of a continuing crackdown by the state in the fight against auto insurance fraud in Florida. Nationwide Insurance provided assistance in this investigation. This case will be prosecuted in the 13th Judicial Circuit under the direction of Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober.