A Miami federal grand jury indicted 18 members of a ring accused of “crashing for cash.” Court documents indicate the individuals recruited drivers to claim they were in automobile crashes, went to four clinics for treatments and fraudulently charged 30 private insurance companies of an estimated $8.5 million.
Four medical facilities involved in the scam sent fake bills to insurance companies and in less than two years funneled an estimated $2.6 million into dummy companies owned by three of the defendants. The group allegedly operated out of Vista Mar Medical Rehab in Hollywood, Plantation Medical Recovery, which is now called Broward Wellness Center, in Plantation, and two clinics in the Miami area, prosecutors said.
“It was a long and complicated investigation,” said Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The U.S. Attorney’s office and the Department of Financial Services Insurance Fraud Division has in the past apprehended other suspects for running similar operations, a fraud technique investigators call “crashing for cash.”
Identified as the leaders of this group were Boris and Eva Royzen of Fort Lauderdale, and Dmitry “Danny” Rakovsky of Aventura, Fla.
Also indicted were three physicians, Ambroise Forte of Lauderhill, Enrique Gonzalez-Pujol of Hialeah and Norma Roche of Homestead.
The Royzens and Rakovsky set up the scheme in 2003 and hired at least four chiropractors and more than a half-dozen massage therapists to run the clinics, the indictment said.
The centers paid as much as $3,200 to brokers for bringing in drivers who agreed to say they had been in fake accidents.
The clinics then billed insurers for fake treatments, including putting limbs in traction, massages, whirlpool therapy and acupuncture, the indictment said.
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