Crash Staged In Hopes Of Collecting $16 Million In Insurance Money, Investigators Say

A Pompano Beach man is accused of trying to collect more than $16,000 of insurance money for a car crash that investigators say was staged for the purpose of filing a claim.

According to a Florida Department of Financial Services affidavit, Wilson Ramos Vieira, 41, was jailed Wednesday on fraud-related charges in connection with a Deerfield Beach crash that occurred in 2011.

The report said that Vieira and at least four other accomplices were involved in setting up the crash. Vieira’s alleged accomplices face similar fraud-related charges, but they have not yet been taken into custody, according to Ashley Carr, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Financial Services.

A participant who is now cooperating with the investigation told authorities that on Oct. 25, 2011, Vieira and others met at the parking lot of Latinos Supercenter at Military Trail and Hillsboro Boulevard to plan the manner and location of the crash.

A driver was instructed to head north on Military Trail and use a turn signal to alert another driver to rear-end the vehicle. Vieira was a passenger in one of the vehicles, the report said.

Following the crash, Vieira was treated at a clinic in Boca Raton for minor injuries, the report said.

Authorities say that Vieira submitted an insurance claim in the amount of $16,879 for the alleged injuries he suffered.

It is unknown whether Vieira and his alleged accomplices are part of a larger, organized scheme, but in 2013 authorities nabbed nearly 100 South Florida defendants in Operation Sledgehammer who were accused of staging crashes.

Undercover investigators witnessed suspects using sledgehammers to make vehicles look like they had been involved in accidents. The three-year state and federal investigation tallied about $20 million in fraudulently obtained insurer payouts.


Source:  SunSentinel

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