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Four Arrested for Involvement in Broward County PIP Fraud Scam


Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413- 2842
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of four individuals for their involvement in a PIP (Personal Injury Protection) scam in Broward County. In total, eight claims were filed alleging that one of the participant’s Mercedes was run off the road, but only one of those eight incidents was found to be legitimate.
Those who were arrested are:
• Ermes Falero of Boca Raton;
• Gary Lee of Boca Raton;
• Javier Navarro of Miami
Gary Lee is accused of helping Ermes Falero organize the scheme to defraud insurance companies by falsifying documentation and filing fraudulent claims. Javier Valdes is accused of participating in the scam by presenting fraudulent statements to support the fraudulent insurance claims.
Falero faces up to 150 years in prison. Lee faces up to 90 years in prison. Valdes faces up to 15 years in prison. The case is being prosecuted by Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz.
Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services has awarded $365,000 to 63 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).