MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than a dozen people from Miami have been arrested for allegedly using lunch trucks to stage more than dozen of accidents and file for $800,000 in fraudulent property damage and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who announced the arrests Tuesday, said they came after a two-year investigation.
“I will not stand by and let these organized crime rings steal your hard-earned dollars,” said Atwater in a statement.
According to investigators, the owners of the lunch trucks recruited participants to pose as the owners and stage auto accidents. Between 2008 and 2010, the ring staged more than a dozen accidents.
In all 15 people have been charged and more arrests are expected.
A measure aimed at eliminating some of the PIP fraud was passed by the Legislature in the last session. The state’s insurance consumer advocate said increased PIP fraud has driven up the cost for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage $1.4 billion since 2008.