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Miami Clinic Owner, Four Others Arrested after Humvee Used to Ram Cars in Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme


CONTACT: Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

MIAMI—A Miami clinic owner and four others are in jail today on charges of staging an accident after the clinic owner crashed his HUMVEE into two other cars in a scheme to collect insurance payments, according to investigators with the Florida Department of Financial Services' Division of Insurance Fraud.

"It is estimated that auto insurance fraud adds as much as $240 to the average Florida family's auto insurance premium each year," said Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. "Anyone thinking about staging an accident should think twice. Under a new law passed by the Legislature this year, those convicted of this crime will serve prison time, not probation."

These arrests are the first under a law effective October 1, establishing a mandatory two-year prison sentence for staging auto crashes.

Investigators say Osvadi Marrero, 35, owner of Yosuni Medical Center Corp., located at 85 Grand Canal Dr., Suite 102, conspired with four other individuals to create phony auto accidents to collect payments from Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance carriers. On November 11, Marrero, driving a 2003 HUMVEE, crashed into two vehicles, a 1997 Nissan and a 2000 Dodge Intrepid. Witnesses called 911, reporting an incident of road rage. When officers arrived, Marrero had fled and the other drivers reported that only they were involved in the accident. Driver Omar Lantingua-Gonzalez, 33, of 50 E 14th St. in Hialeah, was subsequently arrested for filing a false accident report. All three vehicles were seized today.

Today, Lantingua-Gonzalez, in addition to passengers Olga Arocha, 37, and Iraida Perez, 56, both of 7730 SW 12th Ave. in Hialeah, were also arrested and charged with staging an accident, a second-degree felony. Officers with the Hialeah Police Department initiated the investigation and assisted in the arrests. The suspects were booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail. If convicted, they each face a minimum of two years and up to 15 years in prison.

The charges will be prosecuted by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office.

The arrests follow today's release of a study by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, which announced that Florida leads the nation in the number of insurance fraud convictions and cases presented for prosecution. Since 1999, the Miami office of the Division of Insurance Fraud has made more than 550 PIP fraud-related arrests. This includes more than 350 participants in staged accidents, charged with fraudulent claims exceeding $11.5 million. The department recently entered into a partnership with the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office to fund a prosecutor position dedicated to investigating and prosecuting PIP fraud.

The Department of Financial Services investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.