Monthly Archives: December 2012

“Operation Never Ends” Leads to Closure of Two Clinics, Multiple Arrests

“Operation Never Ends,” the multi-organizational investigation organized by Miami police, the Secret Service, local and state agencies and insurance companies, has led to the closure of two clinics involved in staging accidents and making fraudulent insurance claims.

The more than one year long operation led to the arrest of, among others, Jorge Felix Felipe Pupo, 49, accused of being the ringleader, and Yanaris Ramirez Paneque, 36, a receptionist at one health clinic, according to authorities.  According to the report from NBC 6:

Police say they went undercover inside a medical building in the 700 block of Northwest 23rd Avenue and at another location near Flagler and the Palmetto Expressway.

Detectives said recruiters would find those willing to participate in the staged accidents, then bring them to medical clinics where paperwork was done to get money back from insurance companies.

Police Sgt. Luis Taborda explained the scheme.

“The clinics are the main,” he said. “They provide the money to a runner and the runner puts together the crash — orchestrates the crash.”

Police said the ring was making big money on the claims.

“I could tell you that in one investigation that we did at the beginning, they were up to $80,000 before we shut them down — in just one crash,” Taborda said.

The article from NBC 6 South Florida is available here.

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Filed under Fla. Stat. 627.736 (2008), Fla. Stat. 627.736 (2012), Insurance Fraud, Licensing

Suit to Deem Florida’s PIP Law Unconstitutional Blocked in Florida Federal Court

On December 12, 2012, Federal Court Judge Richard A. Lazzara entered an Order denying a group of medical provider’s attempt at a prelimary injunction, blocking the implementation of changes in Florida’s new PIP law which take effect January 1, 2013. Judge Lazarra found, ” that the motion is due to be denied without the necessity of a hearing because Plaintiffs have utterly failed to demonstrate that there is a substantial likelihood they will eventually prevail on the merits.”

The Federal lawsuit filed by attorney Luke Lirot on behalf of a group of chiropractors, acupuncturists massage therapists and a “John Doe” plaintiff, sought to block the implementation of changes to the amended Florida PIP law, effective January 1, 2013. Among other issues, the plaintiff’s sought to block the law’s ban on PIP benefit reimbursement to acupuncturists and massage therapists.

Christian Camara, Florida Director at R Street, a non-profit public policy research organization stated: “While this is just a short-term procedural victory and the case will now go on to trial, [Judge] Lazzara has handed down a defeat to the opponents of reform. This also marks a win for Florida consumers, who stand to benefit from containing the escalating costs in our auto insurance market.”

The PropertyCasualty 360 article is available here. For more information on the ruling and it’s effect on Florida insurers please contact Mark Rose (mrose@roiglawyers.com) or Michael Rosenberg (mrosenberg@roiglawyers.com).

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Filed under Fla. Stat. 627.736 (2012)