Wyoming Man Fifth Person To Plead Guilty To Staged Automobile Accident Fraud
The Fraud Ring Operated Three Therapy Clinics in Michigan from 2012 to 2015
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Yoisler Herrera-Enriquez, age 31, a massage therapist from Wyoming, Michigan, pled guilty in federal court today to conspiracy to commit mail fraud related to a staged automobile accident ring that operated in West Michigan from 2012 to 2015. Herrera-Enriquez faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment and will be ordered to pay restitution to the automobile insurance companies that were defrauded. Herrera-Enriquez is the fifth individual to plead guilty. Previously convicted were: Gustavo Acuna-Rosa, 29, and, Eduardo Pardo-Oiz, 34, formerly from Lansing; Dolis Rojas-Lopez, 31, of Wyoming; and Yosvany Gonzalez-Duran, 41, of Lansing.
“This staged automobile accident ring operated a sophisticated fraud over several years in our community,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. “The ring caused significant losses to numerous Michigan no-fault automobile insurance carriers and diverted limited local law enforcement resources from legitimate police work, simply so that an automobile accident report could be completed for a fraudulent automobile accident. Vigorous prosecution of those that take advantage of our community remains a priority of my office.”
The staged automobile accident ring operated three therapy clinics, Revive Therapy Center and HH Rehab Center, in Wyoming, Michigan, and Renue Therapy Center in Lansing, Michigan, from April 2012 to May 2015. The ring recruited and paid cash to individuals to stage automobile accidents and obtain police reports so that automobile insurance claims could be opened with their insurance companies. Herrera-Enriquez, and others, then told the accident participants what symptoms to present to a physician affiliated with the ring so that she would sign a prescription for physical therapy. The accident participants would then seek unnecessary physical therapy treatment with Herrera-Enriquez and others at the clinics. Typically, after a few therapy sessions, the accident participants would sign blank therapy treatment forms that would be signed by Herrera-Enriquez or other massage therapists to make it appear as if the accident participants were obtaining treatment when they truly were not. The therapy clinics then used the treatment forms to send false insurance claims through the United States mail to automobile insurance companies for therapy treatment that was either not necessary or not actually provided.
“Criminal groups often believe they are employing ingenious techniques to cheat the system,” explained Steve Francis, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations, Detroit Field Office. “Sadly, we all suffer the consequences when higher rates get passed on to the consumers due to the increased costs of business. HSI will continue to aggressively target these schemes.”
“Today’s guilty plea should serve notice once again that the FBI will not stand by idly while criminals engage in financial fraud schemes which negatively impact insurance companies and policy holders”, added David P. Gelios, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Detroit Division.
Three others are facing similar charges in a third superseding indictment that will proceed to trial on March 7, 2017: Belkis Soca-Fernandez and David Sosa-Baladron, of Tampa, Florida, and Antonio Ramon Martinez-Lopez, of Port Richey, Florida. The charges in the third superseding indictment are merely accusations, and these defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
The Grand Rapids Offices of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are handling the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald M. Stella is handling the prosecution.