TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa health clinic owner was arrested and accused of being part of a six-figure insurance fraud scheme.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis' office said Ybor Medical Center owner Angela Ippolito Duncan allegedly planned and took part in "staged car accidents to submit more than $970,000 in fake accident injury automobile insurance claims."
Investigators say Duncan recruited an undercover detective for an intentional car crash, provided passengers for the cars and told all of them to show up for treatment at her medical clinic afterward.
"Once the deliberate traffic crash occurred, she allegedly coached the participants on what to say to the insurance company and had them sign approximately 30 blank medical forms for treatment that never occurred," Patronis' office wrote in a statement.
Investigators say Ybor Medical Center then billed for the bogus insurance claims.
“Scam artists are working every day to drive up your insurance rates to line their own pockets," Patronis said. "Thankfully my fraud detectives are staying one step ahead of these schemes and were able to successfully shut down this staged accident fraud ring."
Duncan was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of racketeering, planned participating and organizing an intentional traffic crash, and 45 counts of filing a false and fraudulent insurance claim.
If convicted on all charges, Patronis' team says Duncan could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.
"Schemes like this are not only costly, but they are also dangerous, putting innocent motorists at risk on Florida’s roadways," Patronis said.