TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa woman was arrested after state investigators found she allegedly planned and participated in staged car accidents, submitting false claims to her insurance company totaling $970,000.
According to a press release from Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, multiple agencies at the state and local level collaborated to investigate Angela Ippolito Duncan, owner of Ybor Medical Center, for insurance fraud.
Duncan was caught after she unwittingly recruited an undercover officer to participate in staging a fake car accident. Patronis’ office said she provided the passengers for the vehicles and directed them to be treated at her medical center.
She then had participants sign approximately 30 blank medical forms for treatment they never received and coached them on how to speak with the insurance company. This resulted in $970,000 in fraudulent insurance claims.
Duncan was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with planning, participating and organizing an intentional traffic crash, racketeering, and 45 counts of false and fraudulent insurance claim.
“Scam artists are working every day to drive up your insurance rates to line their own pockets. Thankfully my fraud detectives are staying one step ahead of these schemes and were able to successfully shut down this staged accident fraud ring,” CFO Jimmy Patronis said. “Schemes like this are not only costly, but they are also dangerous, putting innocent motorists at risk on Florida’s roadways.”
If convicted on all charges, Duncan could spend up to 30 years in prison. The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office will prosecute this case.