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4 Arrested In Auto-Insurance Scam

Jul 26, 2007

By Thomas W. Krause, Tampa Tribune, Fla.

Jul. 27--TAMPA -- Four Tampa residents were arrested Wednesday in connection with an auto-insurance scheme in which medical clinics reportedly paid patients to receive treatment they didn't need, then billed insurance companies.

People involved in auto accidents were paid $600 or more to report false medical claims, according to Capt. John Corbett of a law enforcement division of the Florida Department of Financial Services.

The bills were sent to auto insurance companies under the drivers' personal injury protection coverage.

By law, Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage.

At least one of the clinics, Bellamar Medical Center on 4109 N. Armenia Ave., paid people $2,000 or more each to stage auto accidents, Corbett said.

After several months of investigation by the department's Division of Insurance Fraud, Isidoro Martinez, 40, and Yusimy Martinez, 32, were both charged with insurance fraud and grand theft. The two own the Bellamar center.

Also arrested were Lemuel Filipe, 32, and Yunaisy Silverio, 24. Both face charges of insurance fraud and patient brokering.

Filipe and Silverio were listed as employees of Tampa Bay Therapy at 3104 W. Waters Ave., Corbett said.

The department is continuing to investigate other clinics, Corbett said.

Reporter Thomas W. Krause can be reached at (813)259-7698 or tkrause@tampatrib.com.

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Copyright (c) 2007, Tampa Tribune, Fla.

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