Eight Broward County Residents Arrested for Involvement in PIP Fraud Scam
Contact: Ashley Carr
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the arrests of eight Broward County residents for PIP (personal injury protection) fraud. An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed the arrested individuals staged a motor vehicle accident in Fort Lauderdale using a hotel van filled with passengers who participated in the scam.
Ronie Petidos of Corals Springs, Patrick Logene of Tamarac and Marc La Pierre of Pompano Beach were arrested for organizing the accident and sending the participants to clinics they controlled. The participants were also instructed and agreed to file fraudulent insurance claims and begin unnecessary therapy treatments.
The arrested van passengers include Shaeronda Jackson and Jeffrey Louis of Fort Lauderdale and Jean Regisma of Lauderhill. Stephen Blanc of Lauderdale Lakes and Kennsly Giles of Fort Lauderdale, who were also arrested, were recruited to ride in the at fault vehicle that crashed into the van.
The case is being prosecuted by the office of 17th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Michael J. Satz.
Accident organizers Petidos and La Pierre were previously arrested in 2014 for their role in another staged accident that occurred in 2012 in Hollywood, Florida. This criminal case is still pending in the Broward Judicial Court system.
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 has awarded $365,000 to 63 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. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS.)