A couple faces 20 years in prison as a result of their participation in a PIP insurance fraud scheme which involved staging a car accident, and subsequently collecting money from the false insurance claims they filed.
Jose Alberto Velez, 30, and April Rosita Wynn, 23, were both convicted of knowingly participating in an intentional motor vehicle crash and four counts of false insurance claims, according to a news release issued by the Office of the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida.
Their convictions stem from a staged car crash that happened in May 2012, the same year that the State Attorney’s Office (SAO) and the Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) began investigating a series of questionable car accidents in Duval County.
Their investigation uncovered a larger Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance fraud scheme where nearly 100 individuals have been arrested over the past 18 months.
It was discovered that Velez and Wynn, who are now married, persuaded family and friends to participate in their staged car crashes. After the accidents, Velez, Wynn and their accomplices would go to designated rehabilitation clinics that would provide mock therapy for fictional injuries, and then file PIP claims through those clinics.
One of the ringleaders of the scheme, David Rodriguez Lopez, was sentenced to 15 years on charges of schemes to defraud over $50,000, false insurance claims over $100,000, and knowingly participating in an intentional motor vehicle crash. Other cases resulting from the investigation are currently pending.
Besides their present charges, Velez and Wynn are still awaiting other charges for allegedly staging additional accidents. They will be sentenced the week of July 28.