MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Prosecutors have uncovered 21 people, based out of local clinics, involved in elaborate scams that totaled almost half a million dollars in phony medical bills.

According to investigators, four South Florida clinics allegedly generated false medical claims to more than half a dozen of the state’s largest car insurers.

The scam is estimated to have cost the industry approximately $80 billion a year.

Miami-Dade State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, says the loss totals to more than the annual salaries for millions of American families. Also, the scam is responsible for raising the rates on local auto and homeowners insurance policies.

According to the latest crime statistics, Miami-Dade is currently on track to beat out the Tampa/St. Petersburg area for the worst rate of insurance fraud in the state.

Local consumers are expected to continue to see an increase in insurance bills to pay for the loss.

With more than 500 people arrested statewide so far this year, investigators believe that 2013 is on track to be a record-breaker in insurance fraud charges.

If the 21 people accused are found guilty, they could face up to two years in prison.

Investigators expect more arrests in this case.

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