Florida PIP Fraud Investigation Spanning Two Years Concludes with 7 Arrests

April 15, 2015

A two-year PIP fraud (personal injury protection) investigation involving Integrated Healing Clinic in Tampa, Fla., has concluded with the arrests of 7 residents, according to a statement by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud. The Division’s investigation discovered that clinic staff had filed several patient claims with multiple insurance carriers for prices that far exceeded actual treatment costs and, in some cases, for treatments that never took place.

“These individuals orchestrated a complex operation to defraud insurance companies and, ultimately, all Floridians,” said Deputy CFO Jay Etheridge. “I’m proud of the results of this collaborative investigation and hope this serves as a deterrent for anyone considering or currently engaged in similar criminal acts in our state.”

The extensive investigation revealed that clinic employee Minette St. Fleur operated as a recruiter, paying patients to go along with the scheme to file fraudulent claims. She was arrested and charged with insurance fraud and patient brokering.

The following clinic patients were arrested for their roles in this scheme:

  • Sonthonax Ferdinand
  • Marie Jean Gilles Valcin
  • Marie Celestin
  • Josue Aguste
  • Elisena Louissaint
  • Joseph D Pierre

The National Insurance Crime Bureau and several insurance companies were instrumental to the success of the investigation, including GEICO, 21st Century Insurance, Direct General Insurance, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, State Farm Insurance and Liberty Mutual Insurance. The case will be prosecuted by the office of Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark A. Ober.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services

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