By Bob LaMendola
Posted July 23 2005
A federal grand jury indicted 18 people and four South Florida medical clinics on Friday on charges of defrauding insurance companies of $8.5 million through staged auto accidents.
The group’s leaders paid brokers to recruit drivers to pretend they had been in crashes and to come to the four clinics for treatments they didn’t need and never received, federal prosecutors said in an indictment filed in federal court.
The clinics then sent fake bills to at least 30 private insurance companies, and in less than two years funneled at least $2.6 million of the proceeds to dummy companies owned by the three leaders of the scheme, the indictment alleged.
“It was a long and complicated investigation,” said Alicia Valle, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Miami.
In the past, other groups have been arrested for running similar operations, a fraud technique investigators call “crashing for cash.”
Identified as the leaders of this group were Boris and Eva Royzen of Fort Lauderdale, and Dmitry “Danny” Rakovsky of Aventura.
Also indicted were three physicians, Ambroise Forte of Lauderhill, Enrique Gonzalez-Pujol of Hialeah and Norma Roche of Homestead.
None of the leaders of the operation could be reached for comment with calls to the clinics.
The group allegedly operated out of Vista Mar Medical Rehab in Hollywood, Plantation Medical Recovery, which is now called Broward Wellness Center, in Plantation, and two clinics in the Miami area, prosecutors said.
The Royzens and Rakovsky set up the scheme in 2003 and hired at least four chiropractors and more than a half-dozen massage therapists to run the clinics, the indictment said.
The centers paid as much as $3,200 to brokers for bringing in drivers who agreed to say they had been in fake accidents.
The clinics then billed insurers for fake treatments, including putting limbs in traction, massages, whirlpool therapy and acupuncture, the indictment said.
Prosecutors asked the court to seize the Royzens’ house a block from Fort Lauderdale’s beach, Rakovsky’s six-bedroom home that he bought for $1.1 million in January, plus two condominiums in Plantation and one in the Trump Parc East on Central Park South in Manhattan.
Bob LaMendola can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4526.