CFO Sink Announces Five More Arrests in Staged Accident Sweep
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2010
CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Jennifer Hirst (850) 413-2842
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES FIVE MORE ARRESTS IN STAGED ACCIDENT SWEEP
TALLAHASSEE— Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced five additional arrests in her statewide staged accident sweep, bringing the statewide total to thirteen arrests in two days. Uriel B. Dubreuze, Darren Jermaine Villiers, Joey Fernandez, Christina Torres, and Dragan Zupancic were arrested on charges of insurance fraud and filing false/fraudulent insurance claims. 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.”
CFO Sink’s investigators found that Dubreuze and Villiers recruited Torres to participate in a staged auto accident with Fernandez and Zupancic. Dubreuze paid Torres $1,000 and Zupanic $500, directing both to Solution Care Center, Inc., a clinic in the City of Lauderhill, and Florida Superior Imaging, Inc. for treatments allegedly received and paid by for Allstate Insurance Company and Pearl Holding Group. Zupancic, Fernandez, and the Torres also filed Bodily Injury Claims against Avis Budget Group in the amount of $250,000.
The staged accident occurred on Feb.25, 2009, in Palm Beach County.
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.
Further arrests are pending around the state. For more information on PIP fraud in Florida, visit DIF’s website at http://www.myfloridacfo.com/fraud.
CFO Sink’s Division of Insurance Fraud made more than 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.
# # #
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services. A successful business leader with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO. CFO Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful spending, holding government accountable to Florida’s taxpayers, and cracking down on financial and insurance fraud.