An office manager who acted as a patient broker as well as her six patient recruits were recently arrested on insurance fraud charges by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) after a two-year investigation uncovered suspicious insurance claims made by the individuals.
According to a story in the Tampa Tribune, Minette St. Fleur, 50, paid individuals to pose as patients injured in car accidents. The complex scheme, which was centered at Integrated Healing Clinic in Tampa, involved these patients filing fraudulent claims to multiple insurance agencies for their bogus injuries. Prices paid for treatments, some of which never occurred, greatly exceeded actual costs and totaled more than $150,000 in fraudulent claims, DIF found.
The scam was directed at GEICO Insurance Company, 21st Century Insurance, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, State Farm Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance. GEICO initially noted some patients repeatedly visited the clinic for many different treatments and that some dates on clinic paperwork did not match the dates on the filing of claims. The company brought the suspicious activity to the attention of DIF who began their investigation.
St. Fleur has been charged with insurance fraud and patient brokering, and was released on $2,000 bond
The others who were arrested for their involvement in the scheme included:
- Sonthonax Ferdinand, 57
- Marie Jean Gilles Valcin, 42
- Marie Celestin, 38
- Josue Auguste, 42
- Elisena Louissaint, 48
- Joseph D Pierre, 39
Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober’s office will prosecute the case.