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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces the Arrests of 12 Miami-Dade School Bus Employees in a $426,900 Insurance Fraud Scheme

6/28/2019

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 28, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com

CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces the Arrests of 12 Miami-Dade School Bus Employees in a $426,900 Insurance Fraud Scheme 

MIAMI–
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of 12 current and former Miami-Dade School District school bus employees for allegedly filing fraudulent insurance claims totaling $426,933. Under the direction of alleged ‘ringleader’ Shanequa Latoya Veal, a former Miami-Dade School District employee, the bus drivers and aides used the personal information of approximately 11 children to file fraudulent insurance reimbursement claims.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said “Using the identities of innocent children to file fake insurance claims to make a quick buck is shameful. It is especially alarming when these individuals were responsible for the safety and security of children in their roles with the Miami-Dade School District. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and drives up rates for every Florida household. I applaud my fraud detectives for working diligently to bring these scam artists to justice.”

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said "There can never be an excuse for insurance fraud. When public employees are a part of the problem and when public medical benefits are used to make the scheme work, these are shameful events. They are also crimes."
 
An investigation by CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives revealed between 2015 and 2018, 12 current and former Miami-Dade School District employees allegedly submitted 68 fraudulent accident injury insurance claims to an insurance company using the same injury accident information. They obtained legitimate medical records supplied by fellow participants and shared the personal information of children who were previously treated at various medical facilities. This enabled them to file insurance claims as if they were the parents of the children. As a result of this scheme, the insurance company paid a total of $426,933 in claim payments.
 
Arrested individuals were booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) on charges of Organized Scheme to Defraud, Grand Theft, and False and Fraudulent Insurance Claims. Those arrested include Shanequa Latoya Veal, Davina Renee Stephens, Charlie Griffin III, Sylvia Albertha Nickle, Keyonna Lacrice McCown-Persaud, Ruby Ray Carter, Evette Nicole Woodard, Shevet Walker Mabry, Alma Denise Jackson, Regina Cettali Johnson, Gervanna Vikers, and Shenna Denise Lewis.

The case is being prosecuted by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 

Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. El Oficial Principal de Finanzas Patronis trabaja todos los días para luchar contra el fraude de seguros, apoyar a los bomberos de la Florida y garantizar que las finanzas del estado sean estables para respaldar el crecimiento financiero del estado. Siga las actividades del Departamento en Facebook (FLDFS) y Twitter (@FLDFS).