A local bank manager in West Palm Beach noticed “unsophisticated” looking people routinely cashing $8,000 checks from a medical clinic and alerted the bank’s security about the suspicious transactions.
This is part of an ongoing lawsuit filed in Broward County by Allstate Insurance Company. The suit alleges that this well-known bank helped fraudulent medical clinics “fleece” the auto insurer out of millions of dollars for staged car accidents by allowing the questionable withdrawals.
The bank denies any wrongdoing and directs blame back at the auto insurer for paying out the fraudulent claims in the first place, and then attempting to suggest the bank is somehow complicit in these activities.
The lawsuit stems from a suspected criminal conspiracy in South Florida involving clinic owners, chiropractors, patient recruiters and phony accident victims who have allegedly defrauding Allstate out of an estimated $10 million. Four of the purported ringleaders are thought to have fled to Cuba, which apparently many of the participants in this scheme hail.
Allstate now contends that the bank in question provided “essential banking services” to approximately 35 clinics involved in the ring, enabling associated criminal networks to operate the scam with large sums of cash.
One of the bank’s employees is alleged to have taken part in a staged accident and apparently submitted a bogus claim to Allstate. This banker is said to have opened an account at this bank for one of the medial clinics, knowing it was a scam.
Despite the appearance of insurance fraud being a highly prevalent problem in South Florida, specifically PIP fraud, it is reported to have been in decline for the last several years. Insurers often try to paint a picture of widespread fraud as a reason to eliminate no-fault insurance, however it provides a necessary safeguard for those injured in accidents with uninsured or underinsured motorists, of which there are many in South Florida.