Three men, who staged car crashes and subsequently filed false Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims through rehab clinics, were recently sentenced to multiple years in prison for their role in an insurance fraud scheme based in Jacksonville.
According to a news story on News4Jax.com, the defendants were described as “mid-level recruiters,” who were arrested as part of a larger scheme that investigators from the Division of Insurance Fraud and State Attorney’s Office first uncovered in 2012. More than 20 people were arrested as a result of this investigation.
The participants would fake accidents and then go to clinics that prosecutors say were owned by the organizers of this scheme. These clinics provided bogus treatment for non-existent injuries.
George Orlando Ortiz Jr., 33, was sentenced to 9½ years in prison. He pleaded guilty to four counts of committing a staged motor vehicle accident, false insurance claims and schemes to defraud.
Also getting sentences were Noylan Barreto, 21, who received a three-year prison term and 10 years probation on two counts of committing a staged motor vehicle accident and one count of false insurance claims, and Freddie Alberto Freytes, 43, who received six years in prison on two counts of committing a staged motor vehicle accident and three counts of false insurance claims.
Insurance companies ran up a tab of more than $150,000 in claims resulting from accidents involving Ortiz, Barreto and Freytes.
Ringleader David Rodriguez Lopez, who we wrote about in our FL-PIP blog on December 11, 2013, was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of: schemes to defraud over $50,000, filing false insurance claims totaling over $100,000, and helping stage a deliberate automobile accident.