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Informant Claims $5,000 “Fraud Busters” Reward for Tipping Investigators to Clinic Billing Scheme

8/7/2002

TALLAHASSEE - A Miami man who led Department of Insurance investigators to a fraudulent million-dollar billing scheme will claim a $5,000 reward for his efforts, Florida Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher announced today.

The informant, who prefers that his identity not be disclosed, was approached last year by Ercides Iglesias, owner of Flagler Polyclinic at 6779 W. Flagler St., and recruited to file false auto accident claims and solicit new patients whose insurance companies could be billed by the clinic. The informant then "recruited" two undercover Department of Insurance investigators, who posed as accident victims and secretly recorded details of the organized fraud.

Iglesias, 53, was convicted in June on two counts of insurance fraud, two counts of grand theft and one count of organized scheme to defraud. He was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to make restitution. Lazaro T. Moran, the clinic's physician, relinquished his medical license. Debora Garcia, the office manager, was given pre-trial intervention in exchange for her testimony implicating Iglesias.

The informant and the undercover investigators said they were given no treatment at the clinic other than cursory physical exams and X-rays, although the clinic billed their insurance companies more than $11,500 in personal injury protection (PIP) claims.

Gallagher said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected.

"We want to reward citizens for getting involved and helping to stop organized insurance fraud," Gallagher said. "Every Floridian is hurt by schemes that drive up the cost of coverage."

The Department of Insurance, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates fraud in all types of insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation. Anyone with information about this case or other possible fraud should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.