CFO Atwater Announces Arrest of Tampa Man in an Accident Clinic Money Structuring Scheme
Contact: Alexis Lambert
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today the arrest of Hillsborough County resident, Juan C. Borras, 55, an employee of American Best Clinic, LLC, on charges of intentionally structuring large cash withdrawals to avoid reporting or registration required by Florida law. This tactic has been linked as a common practice for automobile accident clinics suspected of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud.
“This type of scheme is often at the heart of a larger PIP fraud ring that costs Florida drivers millions of dollars in higher insurance premiums,” said CFO Atwater. “My department will continue to crack down on these types of practices and put these fraudsters behind bars.”
An investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, into American Best Clinic in Tampa revealed that Borras intentionally structured 31 large cash withdrawals from a clinic bank account in a nine-month period for a total of nearly $260,000 in withdrawals, a first degree felony under Florida law.
Borras was booked into Hillsborough County jail Tuesday and released on bond. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison. Doe Rivera, 36, a co-conspirator and employee of American Best Clinic, is currently being sought on similar charges, involving nearly $1.8 million, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
In an effort to develop policy ideas to combat PIP fraud, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Westcott, appointed by CFO Jeff Atwater, has formed a PIP working group. Representatives from the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate, and various stakeholders in the PIP system are working together to formulate real solutions in response to the escalating rates that are burdening Florida’s consumers.
Anyone with information about this or any other incidents of suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Individuals who provide tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded almost $250,000 to approximately 40 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services including the Division of Insurance Fraud. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.