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Four More Charged in Staged Auto Accident Scheme in Miami

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Florida authorities have nailed another alleged accident-staging group, one that collected more than $50,000 in personal injury protection benefits from auto insurance companies.

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Bryan Carlos Hernandez, Rusland Rivero Tellez, Juan Fonseca Lauzao and Elvis Fonseca Lauzao staged a crash in March 2023 in Miami-Dade County, Florida’s chief financial officer said in a statement last week. After the “accident,” all four went to physical therapy clinics for injuries they did not sustain, officials said.

Two south Florida therapy clinics billed Progressive Insurance more than $28,000 and the insurer paid the claims. National General Insurance was billed some $59,000 and paid out about $24,000, CFO Jimmy Patronis said.

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The four were booked into jail in Miami. The arrests came about month after four other people, including a former Major League Baseball player, Yuniesky Betancourt, were charged in a similar scheme in Miami.

It was not reported how authorities uncovered the latest alleged fraud scheme or if the clinics’ operators also will be charged. Detectives with the Florida Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations Division led the investigation, Patronis said.

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