The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud has announced the arrest of Dr. Douglas Price, owner of the Florida Pain Trauma and Injury Clinic in Auburndale, Fla., and three others on charges related the operation of a complex PIP fraud scam. Price, along with Paulin Sanon and Sonya Rivera of Haines City, and Juliena Julien of Winter Haven are accused of recruiting patients to visit Price’s clinic for treatment of fake injuries following staged accidents.
Following an October 2014 staged accident, Juliena Julien unknowingly recruited an undercover police officer to assist with their scheme, according to a statement by DIF. Julien reportedly requested that the officer visit the Florida Pain Trauma and Injury Clinic to report fraudulent injuries and stated that he would receive monetary compensation for doing so.
Between October 2014 and March 2015, an investigation uncovered evidence that Price’s Auburndale and Tampa clinics were engaged in patient brokering, and also that clinic staff were performing treatments that they were not qualified or licensed to perform, the DIF stated. Price and his associate, Sonya Rivera, reportedly offered $500 as compensation for 15 clinic visits, and an additional $500 after 25 visits to the clinic for treatment of injuries that did not exist. A monetary offer was also extended for the recruitment of additional individuals to attend the clinic.
Based on their roles in the scheme, Price will be charged with three counts of patient brokering, a 3rd degree felony; Sonya Rivera and Paulin Sanon, one of Price’s marketers, will both be charged with one count of patient brokering; and Juliena Julien will be charged with the unlicensed practice of healthcare, according to DIF.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Winter Haven, Haines City and Auburndale Police Departments, along with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Bristol West Insurance Co. assisted with the investigation, and the case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of the Statewide Prosecutor.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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