Insurance Fraud NEWS
Suspected PIP kickback scheme gets Florida lawyer charged
October 05, 2017, Miami, FL
A group of South Floridians have been charged by federal prosecutors in an insurance kickback scheme. Delray Beach lawyer and Boca Raton resident Jason Dalley is among six Florida residents charged in the multi-million-dollar insurance fraud scheme.
Dalley, 66, who lives in Lake Worth, was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and healthcare fraud. Two others involved in scheme received the same charges. They were 54-year-old Richard Yonover and 55-year-old chiropractor Linda Varisco.
The court papers filed in Miami’s U.S. District Court describe a carefully calculated kickback scheme that took advantage of the Florida’s mandatory personal injury protection car insurance program, known as PIP. The federal prosecutors claim the scheme used chiropractors and tow truck drivers to solicit patients and clients. Dalley, Varisco, and Yonover with the help of three others were able to cheat insurers out of roughly $23 million, according to the Sun Sentinel.
The three face a maximum of five years behind bars and $250,000 in fines. They were charged separately from their co-conspirators, who have all been arrested and appearing before the federal court on Wednesday.
The three others include 41-year-old Felix Filenger of Sunny Isles, 48-year-old Andrew Rubinstein of Miami and 59-year-old Olga Spivak of Hollywood. Spivak is a chiropractor while Rubinstein and Filenger own several chiropractic clinics. The three were arrested on racketeering and fraud charges. They were appear in federal court next week for their bond hearings. Their maximum sentences of over 70 years.
State lawmakers had hoped to stop fraudulent schemes like this one from happening by creating the PIP program in 2013. The Florida Legislature reduced reimbursement rates from $10,000 to only $2,500 non-emergency medical care but the group was still able to find a way to defraud the program. Some critics allege that some get around the program by classifying treatment as an emergency.
Filenger and Rubinstein own 15 chiropractic clinics including Palm Beach Chiropractic and Wellness Center in West Palm Beach and Delray Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Delray Beach. Yonover owns two clinics in Broward County. Varisco and Spivak claimed they owned clinics to meet insurance regulations.
Prosecutors allege that Yonover and Dalley would pay unnamed tow truck drivers $2,100 for each person they convinced to visit one of Yonover’s chiropractic clinic or Dalley’s law office after being in a car accident. They encouraged the car accident victims to visit the clinics at least 30 times so they could get the maximum in PIP reimbursements. If the victims stopped visiting the clinic before reaching 30 time, then the clinic owners would refer them to lawyers who could convince the victims to go back to the clinics for more treatments.
This is not the first time Dalley has gotten in trouble. He was disciplined in 2008 by the Florida Supreme Court for a minor misconduct regarding improper advertising. Again, in 2012 Dalley was publicly reprimanded for allowing the statute of limitations to expire on a client’s case.
Source: JD Journal