www.local10.com, Amanda Batchelor, October 17, 2023
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Bureau of Insurance Fraud has arrested three men and are searching for a woman after a fraudulent insurance claim was filed after they staged a car crash in southwest Miami-Dade, authorities said.
According to the suspects’ arrest reports, the rear-end crash was staged on March 4, 2022, at the intersection of Southwest 152nd Avenue and 298th Street.
A Miami-Dade police officer responded to the scene and filed a report, listing two vehicles as being involved in the collision – a 1999 green Toyota pickup truck and a 2014 gray Toyota four-door car.
Police said the two drivers were identified as Fermin Rodolfo Vento, 60, of Homestead, and Yunielkys Rojas, 43, of Homestead.
There were also a total of four passengers inside the two vehicles, one of whom is also facing charges – 40-year-old Veronica Michelle Garcia, of Homestead.
According to the arrest reports, a man identified as Jorge Luis Iriarte Diaz, 53, organized the staging of the crash and recruited Vento and Garcia on the day of the crash, meeting them up that day at a shopping center in Leisure City.
Police said after leaving the shopping plaza, Iriarte Diaz got behind the wheel of the pickup truck as Vento got into the front passenger seat and Garcia got into the back seat.
Iriarte Diaz then called Rojas on his cellphone and directed him where to go to facilitate the crash, authorities said.
According to the arrest reports, as they approached the intersection, Rojas’ vehicle came to a stop and Iriarte Diaz veered to the left, making minimal contact with the vehicle.
Police said Iriarte Diaz was then picked up by someone in a dark-colored SUV as the rest of the suspects remained at the scene, telling police that Vento was the one driving the truck.
According to the reports, Vento and Garcia later sought medical treatment for injuries they did not sustain in the crash and, as a result, Infinity Insurance Company was billed over $20,600 for services rendered to Vento. The claim was denied, police said.
Authorities said the company was billed over $13,600 for services rendered to Garcia and paid $1,562.43 on that claim.
Rojas and Iriarte Diaz were arrested Tuesday morning on charges of staging an accident for insurance fraud, filing fraudulent insurance claims and grand theft.
Iriarte Diaz also faces an additional charge of patient brokering.
According to the arrest reports, Vento was previously arrested, but Garcia remains at large.
Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.