Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Posted in: N-J Editorials Tagged:Citizens Property Insurance Corp. ,insurance Florida officials have taken a welcome and overdue step to downsize Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-created insurer.

April 20, 2012|By Doreen Hemlock, SunSentinel

An undercover sting at a Miami massage clinic has netted arrests of 16 people for alleged auto insurance fraud and grand theft.

The group is charged with fraudulent claims related to personal injury protection insurance known as PIP, the state’s chief financial officer announced Friday.

Those arrested include Judith Gonzalez, 39, owner of Flamingo Health Corp. in Miami, who allegedly billed insurance companies nearly $250,000 in fraudulent insurance claims and coached patients on how to commit PIP fraud.

“Fraud clinics such as this one were the driving force behind much-needed PIP reforms that passed during the 2012 Legislative Session,” Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said in a statement. “My office will remain diligent in putting those who abuse the system for their own personal gain behind bars.”

Atwater said his office’s insurance fraud division and the Miami-Dade police department’s corruption investigation bureau conducted the sting. The U.S. Secret Service helped serve a search warrant.

The investigation found that Gonzalez directed undercover officers posing as patients to sign blank treatment forms and coached them on how to answer questions from their insurance company.

A licensed massage therapist since 2006, Gonzalez had owned and run other Miami clinics including Fontainebleau Center, Theramed Service and Westchester Service companies, the statement said.

People with information about suspected insurance fraud are asked to call Florida’s insurance fraud division at 800-378-0445. Tipsters can stay anonymous. Individuals will be rewarded up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme, Atwater said.



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