Tampa couple arrested for insurance fraud, again

5:36 PM, Jan 27, 2011   |    comments
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TAMPA, FLORIDA -- Five people were arrested on Thursday in an insurance scheme detectives say is costing all of us hundreds of dollars per year.

10 News found out two of the suspects have been convicted of the exact same thing before.

10 News cameras were the only ones there Thursday as Yusimy Martinez was surrounded by detectives.

"What I did?  I don't know nothing about it," she screamed when asked about the allegations.

According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Martinez and her husband staged car crashes around the area.

Detectives say people were hired to be in minor crashes, then come into the Martinez's pain clinic off Himes Avenue. Investigators say the actors would complain of fake aches and pains.

Under Florida's Personal Injury Protection Benefit, insurance companies would then get billed for treatment that never actually happened.

Detectives say the Martinez's pocketed the cash.

"These people were making a lot of money," said Lt. Carlos Rosario, with the Department of Financial Services, "the citizens of Florida are paying higher insurance rates because of people like this and these fraudulent claims."

Investigators say the same couple was arrested and convicted of the exact same crime in 2007.

At that time, the clinic they ran was called "Bella Mar."

This time, investigators simply flipped it around, calling it "Mar Bella."

"It shows that they figured it was worth the risk because they figured they were going to make a lot of money," Lt. Rosario said.

Martinez denied they were participating in any type of fraud inside the clinic.

Detectives say additional arrests are possible.

Adam Freeman, 10 News

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