Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
|September 21, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
10 Arrested in Patient Brokering Scheme
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Department of Financial Services, National Insurance Crime Bureau announced the arrests of five South Florida attorneys and five of their accomplices for a patient brokering scheme. According to the investigation, the defendants illegally gained more than half a million dollars in kickbacks.
These personal injury attorneys allegedly paid individuals to unlawfully solicit unsuspecting vehicle accident victims to make insurance claims for loss and damage, or claims for personal injury protection benefits. The attorneys paid the solicitors $500 to $1,500 per client successfully referred. According to the investigation, the attorneys referred the accident victims to a healthcare facility in exchange for a cash kickback of $1,500 to $2,500 per patient.
Once the defendants brokered the patients to the healthcare facility, the facility provided treatment and billed the auto insurance companies for claims covered by PIP benefits, thus defrauding the insurance companies. From May 2015 to Dec. 2016, the group of defendants received kickbacks for more than $520,000.
Authorities arrested the following defendants in connection to this case:
- · Joaquin Barreda, 39, Plantation;
· Mark Eskin, 62, Boca Raton;
· Adam Hurtig, 46, Fort Lauderdale;
· Alexander Kapetan, 44, Lighthouse Point;
· Richard Kist, 36, Jupiter;
· Elvira Perchitti, 53, Port St. Lucie;
· James Perchitti, 61, Port St. Lucie;
· Vincent Pravato, 48, Davie;
· Steven Slootsky, 57, Boca Raton; and
· Mark Spatz, 58, Davie.
The defendants face numerous charges including organized fraud, criminal solicitation and patient brokering. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Broward State Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting the defendants. This investigation is still active and ongoing.