PIP clinic owner arrested for racketeering, insurance fraud
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The owner of Jacksonville's Gate Parkway Diagnostic Center is behind bars Wednesday after being arrested on suspicion of racketeering and insurance fraud.
According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Sandy Morales was part of a complex PIP fraud scam that took in over $100,000 by fraudulently billing at least twenty different insurance carriers.
Officials said that Morales' arrest is just one of 180 arrests since September 2012 that are tied to the fraud network.
An investigation by the department's division of insurance fraud said that Morales had elaborately staged multiple car crashes, paid people to pose as passengers and then paid those passengers to get treatment in his clinic for fake injuries.
The investigation also said that Morales recruited other clinic owners to participate in the fraud, and sent patients to those PIP clinics to perpetuate the scam and create a larger fraud network.
So far the clinics involved in the scam include:
- Arlington Rehabilitation Services Inc.
- Baymeadows Injury Center LLC
- Health Point Injury Center LLC
- One Touch Therapy Center Inc.
- Saint Jose Injury Center LLC
- Therapy Diagnostic Tech Medical Inc.
- Wellness Rehab Services Inc.
- Atlas Massage Therapy Corp.
- Gate Parkway Diagnostic Center.
All clinics are now closed.
Morales was booked into the Duval County Jail with a bond of over $600,000 and if convicted faces a maximum sentences of 45 years in prison.
Arrests in the case have led to 115 convictions along with over $950,000 in court ordered restitution, as well as $60,000 ordered to cover investigative costs and $50,000 in fines ordered to the Insurance Fraud Trust Fund.
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