FORT MYERS — State investigators charged five people in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte with patient brokering and solicitation in support of large-scale personal injury protection insurance fraud, according to a statement from the office of Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.
An investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Financial Services' division of insurance fraud in partnership with Nationwide Insurance Company discovered that employees at Evans Rehab Center, located at 3949 Evans Ave., Fort Myers, and Charlotte Wellness and Rehab, located at 4300 Kings Highway, Port Charlotte, allegedly advised patients to sign documents for rehabilitation services for injuries that supposedly occurred during auto accidents. Atwater alleges these clinics then billed insurance companies for fraudulent treatments that never occurred. The investigation also revealed that Charlotte Wellness was allegedly operating without the proper licensure requirements.
The state charged Gloria Feliz, 31, receptionist; Andres Bravo, 52, massage therapist; Joe Gevans, 51, facilitator; Gerard Jean Stephen Valere, 51, clinic owner; and Ronald Woodley, 63, chiropractor.
“These arrests are another great win in the ongoing fight against PIP fraud in Florida,” says Atwater in a statement. “I applaud the hard work of our investigators who are able to identify and shut down these destructive crime rings, which hurt Florida families by driving up insurance rates for everyone.”