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CFO Sink's Staged Accident Sweep Results in 19 Arrests Statewide

3/15/2010

CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Jennifer Hirst (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced that her statewide sweep of staged accident scammers last week resulted in the arrest of 19 suspects, including arrests in Ft. Myers, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Since July 2009, CFO Sink’s investigators have arrested 259 people for PIP fraud, culminating in 156 convictions. Insurance fraud is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
 
“Staged accidents put every Floridian at risk, both physically and financially,” said CFO Alex Sink. “I am taking aggressive action every day to get these scammers off our streets and behind bars where they belong.”
 
According to statistics from CFO Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud is the most reported type of fraud, accounting for 30 percent of all referrals received in FY 2008-09.   DIF has seven PIP fraud squads dedicated solely to investigating PIP fraud across the state.  These squads are located in the division’s Central and South Florida regional offices where PIP fraud is most prevalent. Each squad works in cooperation with local law enforcement and consumer groups.
 
“Medical fraud crimes (PIP) can be among the most intricate types of fraud to investigate,” said National Insurance Crime Bureau Director Ron W. Poindexter. “Being able to build coalitions and collectively bring proactive resources to bear against these crimes is critical to our success. Our partnership with CFO Sink’s division is an example of the coalition building that benefits both consumers and industry.”
 
Most Common Types of PIP Fraud:
Reporting a collision at an intersection after first damaging the cars at an offsite location.
“Swoop and Squat” - intentional real collisions, followed by fraudulent injury claims.
 
Sweep Arrests To Date:
 
Tampa (3)
  • Jose Liriano Nunez— DOB:   7/20/1977— Conspiracy & Insurance Fraud
  • Guillermo Rodriguez Lopez— DOB: 10/26/1990— Staged Accident & Conspiracy
  • Robert Clethen III— DOB:   2/28/1988— Conspiracy & Staged Accident
     
Miami (7)
  • Hilda Somodvilla-Licea— DOB: 4/10/1920— Staged Accident/Grand Theft/Insurance Fraud/Florida Communications Fraud Act
  •     Sergio Cordero— DOB: 11/26/1988— Staged Accident/Grand Theft
  •      Abdel Tome— DOB:   9/14/1969— Insurance Fraud /Grand Theft/Staged Accident/Organized Scheme to Defraud
  •      Luis Rivero Dominguez— DOB:   9/01/1975— Insurance Fraud/Grand Theft/Staged Accident/Organized Scheme to Defraud
  •      Jeff Ceremy— DOB:  2/12/1988— Fictitious Insurance Card
  •      Yadira Gonzalez— DOB:  1/23/1989— Insurance Fraud/Grand Theft
  •      Leanardo Santana— DOB:  2/13/1985— False statements in support of an accident claim
 
Ft Myers (4)
  • Dieulene Stevenson— DOB:  8/22/1950— Insurance fraud & Grand Theft
  • Roger Francois— DOB:  9/24/1970— Insurance Fraud
  • Dennis Artaud— DOB: 09/04/1968— 2 Counts of Insurance Fraud
  • Maxeau Prochette— DOB: 06/05/1969— 2 Counts of Insurance Fraud
     
West Palm (1)
  • Gary Jean-Baptiste— DOB: 04/07/1952— Presenting False Insurance Card
  • Sheree Dawn Seymore— DOB: 07/31/1962— Presenting False Insurance Card
                (aka Sheree Dawn Bell)    
 
Orlando (3)
  •  Youlen Menendez— DOB: 11/28/78— Insurance Fraud/Staged Accident/Grand Theft
  •  Adelmis Montejo-Lopez— DOB: 02/17/77— Insurance Fraud/Staged Accident/Grand Theft
  • Luz Arguinzoni— DOB: 06/03/67— Insurance Fraud/Grand Theft
     
Pensacola (1)
  • John Bryant III— DOB: 02/18/1976— Contributing to Delinquency of Minor/Staging of Accident with Intent to file PIP Claim/Filing False Insurance Claim/Grand Theft
     
 
CFO Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud made over 830 insurance fraud-related arrests in the last fiscal year, and investigates various forms of insurance fraud relating to health, life, auto, property and workers’ compensation insurance policies.  Depending on the estimated loss amount, the Department of Financial Services will pay up to $25,000 for information directly leading to an arrest and conviction.  Anyone with information about this or any other suspected insurance fraud is asked to call CFO Sink’s Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445 or visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com/fraud.
 
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