State investigators accuse 5 of staging car crash in Miami-Dade to defraud insurance companies, Andrea Torres, March 9, 2023

MIAMI – With the help of surveillance cameras and a witness who reported to have seen it all from a nearby church, state investigators uncovered a group’s alleged plot in Miami-Dade County to defraud Geico and Bristol West insurance companies.

Investigators with the Florida Department of Financial Services identified the five suspects as two drivers — Ernesto Estrada Rodriguez, and Orlando Hernandez Gonzalvo — and three passengers: Dayin Acosta, Yasmandi Ortega Montano, and Daniel Hernandez Brito.

The department’s bureau of insurance fraud reported Estrada, 32, was driving a 2021 Toyota with Acosta, 32, and Ortega, 33, that was insured by Bristol West, and Hernandez Gonzalvo, 28, was driving a 2017 Mercedes Benz with Hernandez Brito, 20, that was insured by Geico.

The Toyota crashed into the Mercedes Benz on Sept. 13, 2021, at the intersection of Northwest 24 Avenue and 99 Street, near the Bible Baptist Church, in Miami-Dade’s West Little River neighborhood, according to an arrest report.

Bristol West’s claim was for about $124,655 and included two payments to Estrada for about $27,410 and $10,160; two to Acosta for about $28,660 and $10,195; and two to Ortega for about $36,030 and $12,200, according to an arrest report.

Geico’s claim was for about $30,140 and included two payments to Hernandez Gonzalvo for about $16,150 and $780, and two to Hernandez Brito for about $12,410 and $800, according to an arrest report.

Before the crash that cost the insurance companies about $155,000, a witness saw three cars going around the block several times and then two of them slowly meet at the intersection, while the other waited nearby and flashed the headlights before the other two flashed their headlights back, according to an arrest report.

The Toyota stopped at the intersection before the Mercedes Benz accelerated and crashed into it, according to investigators who after watching the surveillance video and talking to the witness concluded that it had all been staged, according to the arrest report.

Detectives arrested Acosta, who is married to Estrada, at about 6 a.m. on Thursday in Hialeah, and corrections officers booked her at about 7:40 a.m. at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, records show. Her bond was set at $22,500.

Records show Acosta is facing charges of organized scheme to defraud/conspiracy, second-degree grand theft/conspiracy, insurance fraud/staged accident, and insurance fraud/soliciting more than $20,000.

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