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Crime & Courts

Tampa clinic employees arrested after fraud investigation

Tribune staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 09:01 AM

Four people were arrested today after the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department investigated a medical therapy clinic for insurance fraud.

Since August 2012, undercover detectives have been posing as patients at the Heisha Medical & Therapy Center, 4620 N. Habana Ave., Suite 202 in Tampa. Detectives would visit the clinic and sign blank medical insurance claim forms in exchange for money. On most visits, they would receive little or no treatment.

On one occasion, undercover detectives witnessed a staged crash organized by the clinic's "crash coordinator." The coordinator set up the crash with three participants at a staged location. The drivers intentionally crashed their vehicles, then called police to file a false report, detectives said.

Participants reportedly each received between $500 and $1,500.

As a result of the investigation, detectives identified seven suspects -- four clinic employees and three crash participants.

Arrested were:

Jose Victores Ruiz, 47, 8712 Fountain Ave., was charged with filing a false report.

Jesus Fernandez, the alleged "crash coordinator, 51, 4411 Tuscany Glen Circle No. 201, was charged with filing a false report and patient brokering.

Legal assistant Ana Belen Valdes, 26, 7210 N. Manhattan Ave., No. 1111, was charged with soliciting motor vehicle tort claims.

More arrests are expected and the investigation is continuing, detectives said.

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