The feds have really been investing some major insurance scams in the South Florida area lately.
Not only have some reputable attorneys been nabbed recently in relation to insurance fraud, but two more suspects have been picked up in relation to a massive $23 million dollar auto insurance fraud using chiropractic clinics in South Florida. The two men in question are Felix Filenger, 41, of Sunny Isles, and Andrew Rubinstein, 48, of Miami. Their defense attorney is set on a different theory of why these men were picked up stating that the investigators in the case assumed that these men were part of the Russian mob and were ringleaders in this elaborate plan to rob the insurance companies.
These men have some aspects in common in which they both emigrated from Ukraine and became U.S. citizens more than 20 years ago, settling into an Orthodox Jewish community in South Florida.
Though prosecutors have yet to charge either man of being involved in the Russian mob or even hint publicly that it had been a part of their investigation, the defense attorney Michael Tein said in court last week that authorities had initially investigated the alleged fraud as if it were an organized crime case. Mr. Tein told the Sun Sentinel that his client plans on fighting these false charges.
“The government spent years and millions of taxpayer dollars wiring up witnesses and tapping phones thinking these clinics were a front for the Russian organized crime network,” Tein said. “As it turned out, they were dead wrong, but after spending all that time and taxpayer money, it’s perfectly understandable that they felt compelled to save face and bring some charges.”
According to the feds, the men ran a crime ring that was highly profitable made up of corrupt clinic owners, lawyers, and chiropractors. The main location of this crime spree was in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties. There were allegedly 10 insurance companies that were defrauded more than $23 million dollars between 2010 and now.
Filenger and Rubinstein’s charges are racketeering and mail fraud conspiracies, wire fraud, health care fraud, and making false statements. A conviction of these charges could lead up to 20 years of federal prison time or more according to prosecutors.
It stated by investigators that they paid out kickbacks to tow truck drivers and body shop workers who agreed to illegally steer auto accident victims to chiropractic clinics that were secretly owned by Filenger and Rubinstein. Once the patients were at these chiropractic center, the doctors then order unnecessary treatment for the patients in an attempted to have a high dollar bill with the insurance companies.
Federal agents used wiretaps and cooperating witnesses to record conversations and plowed through medical and financial records in an investigation that went on for several years. Prosecutors say the fraud involved rapidly running up the medical bills by requiring patients to get a lot of treatments – the goal was 30 visits each – and expensive tests in a short period of time. The fraud took advantage of no-fault provisions in Florida’s Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP), which require auto insurance providers to pay up to $10,000 for emergency treatment, authorities said. The patients’ records all indicated they had an “emergency medical condition” and a documented pain level of 7, 8 or 9 – the high end of the scale – regardless of what they had reported to staff, prosecutors said.
In one of many conversations secretly recorded by the feds, one of the chiropractors fretted about what would happen if an insurance company became suspicious and sent an undercover patient or “plant” into the clinics.
Rubinstein has agreed to stay in jail while Filenger was denied bond as a flight risk due to his assets.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident of any kind, call The Ben Law Firm to discuss your rights. The attorneys at The Ben Law Firm will fight to get you compensation for your lost wage and pain and suffering. Never feel alone when you have the strong arm of The Ben Law Firm by your side!