Two Broward County men are facing felony fraud charges after a state investigation determined they staged an accident in January and then filed fraudulent insurance claims for injuries that did not occur.
Jesse Demetro, 20, of Hallandale, and Anthony Nicholas, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, are each facing charges of organized scheme to defraud, insurance fraud and second-degree grand theft. Demetro was arrested Tuesday and Nicholas on May 18. The charges follow an investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. If convicted on the charges, each could face up to 50 years in prison.
“This is a rampant and costly crime that affects every Floridian,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department. “We are going to continue to go after every suspect and, when we find evidence of a crime, bring them to justice.”
Detectives said they found that Demetro and Nicholas conspired and participated in a staged accident on January 27, 2004, in Broward County, and were tested and treated at Plantation General Hospital. As a result, they filed an insurance claim for medical expenses with Republic Western Insurance Co. and received benefits totaling more than $12,800. They also filed a claim for more than $17,000 in damage to a 2003 Mercedes Benz.
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