Author Archives: Michael A. Rosenberg, Esq.

Florida Doctor Arrested for Allegedly Defrauding Nine Auto Insurers

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services, Dr. Celestino Santi was arrested for allegedly defrauding nine auto insurance companies our of more than $500,000 in unlicensed medical billing.

Investigators reveal that Santi was allegedly acting as a “straw owner” of Accident Care Center of Boggy Creek to disguise the identity of the unlicensed, true owner of the motor vehicle accident medical treatment center.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Three Miami Arrests in Physical Therapy Clinic PIP Fraud Scheme

Three individuals from the Miami physical therapy clinic Professional Medical Practice have been arrested in an alleged personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme. The clinic owner Alean Machado, recruiter Barbarito Leyva-Claro, and physical therapist Yoandra Rodriguez-Pena were charged with Insurance Fraud, Grand Theft, Patient Brokering and Organized Scheme to Defraud.

An undercover investigation uncovered the scheme which paid $2,500 for patients that participated in the fraudulent physical therapy sessions. Two insurance companies were billed over $39,000 in fraudulent claims from the clinic. Machado, Rodriguez-Pena and Leyva-Claro could face up to 45 years in prison if proven guilty.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Unlicensed Contractor Arrested for Defrauding Elderly Man

Cleveland Brantley, an unlicensed contractor with a track record for scamming, was arrested on charges of scheme to defraud, grand theft and elderly exploitation. Brantley scammed a 77-year-old man out of more than $60,000 for repair but did little to no work. The victim contacted Brantley for repairs through, took his money and promised to do work, but showed up for work on and off for a week but never completed any repairs.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud

Former Miami Insurance Agent Arrested in $1.7M Fraud Scheme

Former Miami insurance agent Antonio Jesus Zoghbi has been accused of stealing more than $1.7 million in insurance premiums. Zoghbi allegedly used fraudulent and stolen identities to create fictitious insurance policies and submit fake premium finance contracts. According to the investigation, Zoghbi diverted policy funds into his business account, which he used for personal gain. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud

UPDATE – Miami School Bus Workers Arrested for Fraudulent Insurance Claims

Twelve Miami-Dade County Public Schools bus workers (both current and former) have been arrested for allegedly submitting $426,933 in fraudulent insurance using children’s information.

Fraud detectives found that the bus workers submitted 68 false accident claims between 2015 and 2018.

Click here to read the article. (Previous post)

Filed under Fraud

Miami Woman Facing 47 Charges in Insurance Fraud Scheme

Shanequa Veal, alleged “ringleader” of an insurance fraud scheme, is facing 47 charges for these crimes. Veal is being accused of submitting about $357,000 in doctored insurance claims for herself and other people, including her two children.

Click here to for the video.

Filed under Fraud

Update: Florida Governor Signs AOB Reform Bill

In recent years, lawmakers deliberated changes to the AOB process but could not reach an agreement, amidst heavy lobbying by groups on both sides of the issue. This year, however, the House and Senate came to an agreement and sent the bill to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis signed House Bill 7065 on Thursday, marking the end to a seven-year battle by the industry and reform advocates. This law takes effect on July 1, 2019.

Click here to view our earlier post on what the bill entails or contact us to discuss the implications of this significant change in Florida law.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

Palm Beach Gardens Man Charged In Insurance Fraud Scam

 Jonathan Ryan of Palm Beach Gardens was arrested and charged with insurance fraud and perjury after claiming someone stole his Ford Mustang. Ryan’s 2015 Ford Mustang GT was later found submerged in a Riviera Beach canal not too far from where it was reportedly taken.

Ryan was later identified on surveillance video pulling off in his car just before it was reported to his car insurance company.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud

Florida Legislature Passes Assignment of Benefits Reform Bill

On April 24, 2019, by a vote of 25-14 the Florida Senate passed SB 122 that addresses AOB’s for residential or commercial property insurance claims and limits attorney’s fees related to AOB agreements. The Senate bill was a committee substitute for House Bill 7065, which passed the House on April 11, 2019. Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the bill which would become law effective July 1, 2019. Click here to view the entire Bill: Florida SB 122/HB 7065

Contact us for more information or to discuss the implications of this significant change in Florida law.

Filed under Legislation, Property (Homeowners)

Survey Finds More Insurers Fighting Fraud with Data Analytics

According to a survey by Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, insurers are turning to analytics to fight insurance fraud which they believe is on the rise. Of the 84 carriers surveyed, 65% reported an increase in fraud over the past three years, 10% said fraud decreased and 25% said it remained the same.

Survey results also say that 21% of the carriers plan to invest in artificial intelligence. There has also been an increase in the use of unstructured data.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud