MyFloridaCFO.com, January 13, 2023
MIAMI, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of five individuals in Dade County for their alleged involvement in a staged automobile accident insurance fraud scheme. The five individuals were allegedly paid $1,000 each to participate in the staged automobile accident and receive treatment at local personal injury protection (PIP) clinics with the intent to fraudulently bill insurance companies out of more than $50,000.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "If you attempt to get away with insurance fraud schemes in Florida, you will get caught and brought to justice. At the end of the day, insurance fraud hurts everyone's bottom line and drives up rates for honest motorists. Thank you to the Miami-Dade Police Department for their help on this case and thank you to all of my fraud detectives throughout the state as my office continues to crackdown on fraud to protect insurance consumers in Florida."
An investigation by the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services' (DIFS) Miami Field Office revealed that Ruberlandy Cruzata, Orislaidy Montano, Amauri Rodriguez, Yadira Sanchez, and Lixelly Mayari were involved in a staged crash on August 10, 2022. The crash was orchestrated by an unknown male that Amauri Rodriguez met via a relative. According to a confession by Rodriguez, the man offered him $1,000 to participate in the staged crash. The investigation revealed that on the day of the crash, participants met up for final instructions. One vehicle was driven by an unknown male with Yadira Sanchez and Lixelly Mayari as passengers, while the other vehicle was driven by Ruberlandy Cruzata with Montano as a passenger. Following the crash, the unknown driver of the first vehicle fled the scene. After the man fled, Rodriguez assumed the drivers position of the vehicle, with Sanchez and Mayari still inside. The Miami-Dade Police Officer that responded to the scene questioned whether the crash was staged, which led to Rodriguez confessing that it was in fact a staged accident. Despite the confession, all participants of the staged crash later attended various PIP therapy clinics. As a result of the staged crash and medical/therapy treatments, National General Insurance was billed more than $27,000 and United Auto was billed more than $25,000. Both carriers denied the payment on the claims.
All five individuals were arrested on January 12, 2023, and booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail on charges of Staged Accident, Grand Theft, Insurance Fraud, and Organized Scheme to Defraud. They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.