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Guilty pleas entered in Florida auto insurance fraud case

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2013 | Theft & Property Crimes

Four men who participated in an insurance fraud ring that has allegedly orchestrated numerous instances of theft by fraud since 2006 entered guilty pleas in a Florida court according to the U.S. Attorney working on the case. The charges were brought as a result of the fraud investigation that federal officials have dubbed Operation Sledgehammer.

For more than six years, the four defendants, including a 50-year-old chiropractic doctor from Weston and a 30-year-old massage therapist from Hollywood, allegedly ran a sophisticated insurance fraud operation that duped automobile insurance companies into paying millions of dollars in fake insurance claims. According to the criminal complaint, the men would recruit people to help them stage fake car accidents. Then, they would have the phony victims make several visits to a roster of chiropractors and therapists who were also participating in the fraud. False medical charges and records were allegedly created and filed with auto insurance companies, who then reimbursed the crooked chiropractic clinics for medical services that were never provided.

When the men find out what their sentences will be in a West Palm Beach federal court, they could be facing several decades in jail. In addition, they will also be required to pay restitution in excess of $2 million. Operation Sledgehammer has resulted in charges against more than 90 co-conspirators in the insurance scheme and the identification of 21 medical clinics that participated in the fraud.

Individuals facing criminal charges are often uncertain of what the future will bring. Attorneys who work in the area of criminal law educate their clients about the legal process and help them to prepare their defense.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Four plead guilty in staged auto accident scheme”, Wayne K. Roustan, August 09, 2013