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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest in $500,000 Kissimmee Accident Clinic Fraud Scheme

10/29/2019

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Contact: Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842, katie.strickland@myfloridacfo.com
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Arrest in $500,000 Kissimmee Accident Clinic Fraud Scheme

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis today announced the arrest of Dr. Celestino Santi of Accident Care Center of Boggy Creek for allegedly defrauding nine auto insurance companies out of more than $500,000 in unlicensed medical billing.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Insurance fraud is estimated to cost Americans more than $40 billion a year and informes show this translates to an estimated premiums increase to the average U.S. family of between $400 and $700 a year. Scams like this one put people in harm's way and drives up the cost of insurance."

An investigation by CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives revealed that Dr. Santi allegedly concealed the ownership of Accident Care Center of Boggy Creek, a motor vehicle accident medical treatment center, to avoid the licensing requirements of the Health Care Clinic Act. Investigations revealed that for approximately five years, Dr. Santi was allegedly acting as a "straw owner" to disguise the identity of the true owner, an unlicensed individual. Unlicensed medical treatments were then billed to various insurance companies under patients’ Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.

Dr. Celestino Santi was booked into Lake County Jail on charges of Scheme to Defraud of more than $50,000, False and Fraudulent Insurance Claims of more than $100,000, Grand Theft of more than $100,000, and operating an Unlicensed Health Care Clinic. Si se lo declara culpable de todos los cargos, enfrenta hasta 30 años en prisión. Se esperan más arrestos. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you suspect insurance fraud, please go to FraudFreeFlorida.com.
 
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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).