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Staged Car Crash Network Busted in Florida

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, April 23, 2010 1:44 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Insurance Fraud, Racketeering, Insurance, Car Crash, Staged Crash

Hillsborough County busts phony medical clinics processing phony car crash injury claims.

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IMAGE SOURCE: Tampabay.com Web site on phony clinics busted

They are called health clinics but they have nothing to do with health. They have to do with money.

Hillsborough County (Tampa), Florida deputies have busted a network of individuals involved in so-called staged car crashes.

The eight-month investigation ended with the arrest of 22 people Thursday, charged with insurance fraud. Many were taken into custody at four clinics wearing their clinic clothes, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Law enforcement says the clinics were set up solely to process fraudulent claims. No doctors were present at the time of the bust.

Here’s how it works: Participants meet and set up the staged car crash. They may cause damage to the auto ahead of time which is then attributed to the crash. Four or five people get in the car to make money from multiple claims. The crash occurs but some are not even in the car during the collision.

Recruiters tell participants what to say to deputies at the scene. Then they go to health clinics set up to file fraudulent insurance claims, according to undercover detectives.

At the health clinic they sign blank forms for treatment that they never receive. The insurance is billed. Under Florida No Fault Insurance, insured can receive up to $10,000 on the minimum protection in Florida, PIP, or personal injury protection.

Deputies estimate that insurance companies lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to personal injury fraud.

No one actually gets hurt say deputies, but the participants can receive $500 to $1,000 dollars per crash. The coordinators make more, between $1,500 to $4,000.

The sheriff’s office told reporters there are 164 clinics operating in Hillsborough County alone. Tampa (Hillsborough County) is reported to be the second-worst city in Florida for phony car crash claims. Brooklyn, New York is the worst area in the country.

In 2008, 141 possibly staged crashes occurred in Hillsborough County, and last year that number rose to 499.

Those arrested have been charged with participating in a staged auto accident and insurance fraud, but additional charges of felony racketeering could be added for the organizers. #


6 Comments

Posted by Mike Bryant
Saturday, April 24, 2010 8:56 AM EST

Good to see the fraud being uncovered and punished. Seems like a lot of work to make this crazy idea word. Hopefully, the stains of what comes out of this type of thing, doesn't hurt legitimate claims and the way they are handled.

Anonymous User
Posted by George Cleverdon
Monday, April 26, 2010 9:36 AM EST

Excellent article and information. Crime certainly knows no boundaries and in Canada we are now faced with very similar criminal activity.

Posted by tizi
Monday, April 26, 2010 12:52 PM EST

i think this is crap and everyone need to get a life

Anonymous User
Posted by Sweet
Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:22 PM EST

Are you serious? Life? Really? That is the most rediculous thing I have ever heard. These people are starting to pay already, They're friends and families are affected by this, as well as their jobs. These people are probably scared to death.Should they be? Yes. But should they get life? No. Sex offenders and child predators don't even get that. Its easy to say how someone should spend the rest of their lives, when it's not you or a family member.Some of these people, maybe even all of them, honestly didn't think that what they were doing was all that bad, because no one was getting hurt. We tend to be so judgemental. 'what you should be looking more into, is changing the laws and how easy these insurance companies make it for people to committ these types of crimes.Give life to the people who really deserve it, the ones committing these horrible crimes to our children, the ones that affect the way our children will live for the rest of their lives, in fear. How about that? I was molested at five years old, I had nightmares til I was twelve. I was raped at thirteen, and it has been a hard road, were these men put away for life, no. But did the lord deliver his judgement in the end, yes. One was killed at the hands of another one of his peers and the other recieved about 25 years dealing with drugs. Does what they did effect our economy, yes. But were being kind of harsh, don't you think? Its hard out here, for the people who are considered to be at poverty level, money makes people do stupid things, especially when you don't have any, who are you to say give them life?

Anonymous User
Posted by Pay Attention
Friday, April 30, 2010 8:54 AM EST

He said, "get A life," not "get life." Sometimes a single letter can make a big difference.

Anonymous User
Posted by sweet
Saturday, May 01, 2010 1:47 PM EST

You're right. I missed that a. I just get tired of over sentencing in the state of Florida, and people who deserve to be locked away for the rest of their lives, always seem to walk free, some long enough to start killing. But thanks for the correction, I didn't see that.

Comments for this article are closed.

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