In South Florida, there is no hidden secret that there can be pretty shady practices out there. Many South Florida scams have been heard nationwide. It is extremely important when choosing a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney, that you do your research. Hire a Hollywood Personal Injury Lawyer that will find the right way in your defense.
Five attorneys have already been accused of insurance fraud as the FBI continues to run an investigation in South Florida. Five attorneys were arrested by the Broward County Sheriff’s office on several charges related to an insurance fraud sting.
“This is still an ongoing investigation and there will be more arrests made in the future,” said Detective Kristy Frederick, the Broward Sheriff deputy who led the local investigation with Detective Mike Freeley.
There was a multi-agency investigation put on by authorities in Florida that led them to dig deep into personal injury attorneys that they believed orchestrated insurance fraud. The FBI has since gotten involved in the matter and law enforcement believes that there will be more attorneys to be charged. The attorneys that were arrested on September 6th in regards to this investigation include Adam Hurtig, Alexander Kapetan, Vincent Pravato, Steven Slootsky, and Mark Spatz. The prosecution seems to have gathered some pretty good evidence against these attorneys that could definitely weaken the defense for their case.
“I have all five of the attorneys that were arrested on audio and video taking monetary kickbacks,” Frederick said.
Investigators say in most cases, the personal injury lawyers paid accomplices $500 to $1,500 per client to refer “unsuspecting vehicle accident victims” to make insurance claims.
“The attorneys would, in turn, refer the accident victim to a healthcare facility in exchange for a cash kickback of $1,500 to $2,500 per patient,” according to a statement Thursday from the Broward Sheriff’s Office. “After the patient was brokered to the health care facility, the facility would provide treatment and bill the auto insurance companies for claims covered by the PIP benefits.”
It is said that the attorneys would pay tow truck drivers, auto repair workers, and others between $500 and $1,500 for personal injury referrals. Authorities also alleged the attorneys worked with healthcare clinics to file fraudulent motor vehicle tort and personal injury protection claims.
In addition to these kickback charges, Hurtig also allegedly diverted his clients’ settlement funds:
“Attorney Adam Hurtig not only engaged in the illegal solicitation and brokering of his clients, but … he took the criminal activity further by misappropriating his clients’ settlement funds,” Frederick wrote. “Hurtig took part in an ongoing course of conduct with the intent to defraud his clients, whereby he engaged in an undisclosed split-fee arrangement with Broward Spine Associates and/or Margate Physicians and covertly accepted a portion of his clients’ settlement funds as kickbacks.”
The alleged scam reportedly racked up more than $521,000 from May 2015 to December 2016.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, call The Ben Law Firm to get the proper representation that you deserve. Let an experienced attorney find to you compensation for your injuries.