JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sandy Morales used to own a clinic called Gate Parkway Diagnostic Center.
It was shut down after his arrest on a charge of personal injury protection fraud.
The Florida Department of Financial Services says he fraudulently filed $100,000 in billings to at least 20 insurance carriers.
Investigators say Morales staged multiple car crashes, paid participants to pose as passengers and then paid those participants to seek treatment in his clinic for fake injuries.
Insurance agent Matt Carlucci says this is a scam he’s all too familiar with.
“It started in south Florida where it was rampant and then insurance companies starting finding out and police knew so a lot of the fraud slowed down,” said Carlucci.
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But he says this type of fraud has now made its way to Jacksonville.
He says it’s a type of fraud that could affect many people.
“It's affecting everybody because we're getting an influx of these claims through insurance companies so they're paying out more money,” said Carlucci.
He says most of the time insurance companies will have to raise premiums to make up for lost profit.
Morales faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
The investigation also revealed Morales recruited additional clinic owners and directed patients to PIP clinics to create a larger fraud network. We have a list of other clinics that were shut down.
***To date, the clinics involved include: Indian Rehabilitation Center Inc., 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., and Gate Parkway Diagnostic Center. All clinics are now closed.