JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville couple were sentenced this week for their participation in a staged car accident and insurance fraud scheme.
Jose Velez, 30, received six years and two months in prison for three counts of knowingly participating in an intentional motor vehicle crash and five counts of false insurance claims. April Wynn, 23, was sentenced to four years in prison for two counts of knowingly participating in an intentional motor vehicle crash and four counts of false insurance claims.
They were both found guilty in June.
In 2012, the State Attorney's Office and the Division of Insurance Fraud began an investigation into a series of staged accidents in Duval County. The investigation discovered that the couple, who are now married, recruited family members and friends to participate in fake car accidents with them and then file Personal Injury Protection claims through rehab clinics.
The clinics were the mechanisms used to provide bogus treatment to the staged accident participants for non-existent injuries.
Nearly 100 individuals have been arrested in this scheme over the last year and a half. Several have been sentenced, including one of the ringleaders, David Rodriguez Lopez, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of schemes to defraud over $50,000, false insurance claims over $100,000, and knowingly participating in an intentional motor vehicle crash.
Other cases are currently pending.