CFO Jeff Atwater Announces Arrests of Attorneys, Chiropractors and Clinic Employees in Organized Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Fraud Scheme
Contact: Chris Cate
WEST PALM BEACH – Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of attorneys, chiropractors and clinic employees involved in an organized personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme. The arrests, made this morning in Martin, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, follow a year-long undercover investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.
“Today’s arrests are the culmination of more than a year of extensive and often dangerous undercover work that has exposed a crime ring responsible for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraud,” said CFO Atwater. “I am very proud of our dedicated detectives for their diligent work to hold these criminals accountable.”
During the investigation, multiple undercover detectives were embedded into clinics that were accepting patients who were illegally solicited. One clinic in particular was billing for services that were never rendered. On several occasions, patients were also found being coached to claim they were injured when they were not.
As the investigation progressed, an undercover detective became a patient broker for the ring. The targets indicated they would compensate the undercover detective for referring patients under the guise of marketing. During the meeting in which the brokering agreement was discussed, the principal targets all agreed to pay the undercover detective for bringing patients to specific clinics. Several times during meetings, the principal targets mentioned that it was illegal to directly pay for patients and that is why they disguise it as marketing.
The individuals arrested this morning include:
• Roger Hughes Bell (chiropractor), Hobe Sound
• Brian Greenspoon (attorney), Boca Raton
• Alejandro Marin, Homestead
• Cory Meltzer (attorney), Boca Raton
• Douglas Santiago, Boynton Beach
Individuals with warrants out for their arrest include:
• Christina Savoye, Stuart
• Ryan Grand (chiropractor), Lake Worth
The defendants will be prosecuted by the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s offices.
Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded $349,000 to nearly 60 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. 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.