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Operation No Pain No Gain

5/12/2011

Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Contact Person:
Larry McKinnon : lmckinno@hcso.tampa.fl.us
813/247-8094
Release Number: 11-156

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office announce the results of a five month investigation involving staged vehicle crashes and insurance fraud in Hillsborough County.

Agencies Involved:
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
Hillsborough County Office of the State Attorney Department
Florida Department of Financial Services

Details:
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, The National Crime Bureau (NICB), the Hillsborough County Office of the State Attorney and the Florida Department of Financial Services announce the results of a five month investigation involving staged vehicle crashes and insurance fraud in Hillsborough County.
 
“Operation No Pain No Gain” has resulted in arrest warrants for 53 people, and search warrants at four medical clinics in Hillsborough County. Detectives began to round up suspects and serving search warrants May 11. The suspects include clinic owners and managers as well as general employees, massage therapists and participants in staged crashes. The criminal charges range from Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO), a first-degree felony, to Filing False and Fraudulent Insurance Claims.
 
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the NICB has been combating these criminal enterprises since September 2009 after deputies noticed a pattern of questionable vehicle crashes. Undercover detectives have developed confidential informants and learned which medical clinics being used in this fraudulent activity.
 
Detectives were also able to identify the recruiters and coordinators who would solicit individuals to conduct staged crashes. Then the participants would be directed to a particular medical clinic to sign blank medical forms. At the clinics, crash participants would be coached on how to describe their injuries or pain to physicians.
 
During the last five months the estimated loss to insurance companies due to fraudulent claims from the staged crashes is estimated in the millions.
 
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office acknowledges and appreciates the cooperation of National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the Hillsborough County Office of the State Attorney and the Florida Department of Financial Services. Working together we can make a difference!