JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A six-month long investigation has led to the arrest of 19 people suspected in an insurance fraud scheme centered on a Jacksonville rehab clinic. The scheme involved the staging of automobile accidents in order to file bogus insurance claims amounting to $228,000.
Among those arrested was 24 year-old Valerie Marshall, a massage therapist who owns the Indian Rehabilitation Center Inc. on 3636 University Boulevard.
Here’s how the scheme worked: so-called recruiters offered to pay participants to stage car accidents, fake injuries, and then sign paperwork claiming they received “treatment” at the Indian Rehab clinic, which never occurred, according to the State Attorney’s Office.
The clinic then billed the participants’ insurance carriers for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Under Florida’s “No Fault” insurance law, insurers must provide PIP coverage of $10,000 per person.
Together with Florida’s Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), the State Attorney’s Office says they found that between March and October 2012, at least 19 claims were reported to the National Insurance Crime Bureau from eleven insurance carriers. The clinic “treated” approximately 80 patients during this time, and more than $228,000 was paid to the clinic from insurance providers.
The following is a list of clinic employees, suspected participants and recruiters who were also arrested: Yokayra Ramos, Roscoe Sawyer, Jr., Edgard Fernandez-Romans, David Arteaga Torres, Kenneth Carrerro, Jonathan Robinson, Calvin Grier, Tara Buck, Niko Semedo, Tawaub Zahir, Samantha Daniels, Kathy Adams, Yilan Espinosa, Connor Certo, Tara Buck, Lester Lopez, Craig Graves and Ernando Valentin.
Marshall, the owner of the clinic, faces up to 35 years in prison. The other 18 people arrested could each face at least 15 years in prison.
The State Attorney’s Office says there are six outstanding warrants for others involved in the scheme.