Blog: Five arrested in alleged staged accident ring

Oct 25, 2011

The following article was posted to the House Keys Blog in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on October 25, 2011:

Five arrested in alleged staged accident ring

By Julie Patel

Five South Floridians were arrested and charged with staging an accident, grand theft and insurance fraud, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today.

Miami residents Mario J. Chavez, 53, Robin Nelson Campanioni, Jr., 23, Jorge J. Mota, 27, and Naima Basnueva Lastre, 24, and Eduardo Figueredo, 44, of Miami Springs, met at a house in Miami to plot the scheme then submitted $83,000 in claims to four insurance companies for treatment at Doral Center Rehab and Justin Medical Services, according to investigators. They expect to make more arrests.

“Fake accidents like these are happening everyday in Florida’s biggest cities and are costing Floridians millions of dollars a year in increased auto insurance rates,” Atwater said in a statement. “The perpetrators will be caught, they will go to jail, and we will work to get Floridians the relief they deserve on their auto insurance premiums.”

Two of those arrested could not be reached despite phone calls and phone numbers for the others could not be found. If they’re convicted, each face up to 35 years in prison.

People with information about suspected insurance fraud are asked to call (800) 378-0445. They can remain anonymous and may receive a reward of up to $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. The state’s Department of Financial Services has awarded almost $250,000 to about 40 people for tips.

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