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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in Miami Staged Accident Scheme

5/24/2024
For Immediate Release: Friday, May 24, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Four Arrests in Miami Staged Accident Scheme

MIAMI, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of four individuals including Bryan Carlos Hernandez, Rusland Rivero Tellez, Juan Fonseca Lauzao, and Elvis Fonseca Lauzao for their role in an alleged Personal Injury Protection (PIP) fraud scheme. The four allegedly had the intention to defraud National General Insurance and Progressive Insurance Company by exploiting the PIP benefits associated with their auto policies for financial gain.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "If you engage in insurance fraud in Florida, you will be exposed and held accountable. PIP fraud not only undermines the integrity of our insurance markets but also imposes an undue financial burden on every Florida resident in the form of inflated insurance premiums. Big thank you to my dedicated insurance fraud detectives for tracking down these individuals and bringing them to justice.”

An investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) Miami Field Office revealed that Hernandez, Tellez, Lauzao, and Lauzao were involved in a staged motor vehicle crash, with no reported injuries, on March 12, 2023, in Miami-Dade County. After the accident report date, all four individuals went to physical therapy clinics for injuries they never sustained regarding the accident. Progressive Insurance was billed a combined total of over $28,000 from two clinics and paid out over $28,000. National General Insurance was billed over $59,000 and paid out over $24,000. Both insurance companies were billed for physical therapy none of the four individuals were entitled to.

All four individuals were arrested and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Center in Miami on charges of Staged Accident, Insurance Fraud, Organized Scheme to Defraud, and Grand Theft. They each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Please Note: In legislation recently signed by Governor DeSantis, the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) has been renamed the Criminal Investigations Division or “CID.”

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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