14 people arrested in alleged $528,000 auto insurance scam for accidents that never happened

14 people arrested in alleged $528,000 auto insurance scam for accidents that never happened
Geico was hustled out of over $525,000 in an auto insurance scam, according to the Florida state attorney. Fourteen people were arrested in the case. (Getty Images)

More than a dozen people were arrested in connection with an “organized auto insurance fraud scam,” which included reporting auto accidents that never happened, according to WFOR-TV.

On Tuesday, WFOR reported that the scam forced Geico to pay out about $528,000 in bogus auto insurance claims.

What are the details?

Florida State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle held a news conference Tuesday to discuss the 14 people reportedly involved, and arrested in connection with the case.

“These fourteen individuals are allegedly in an auto insurance scam with an unusual twist,” Rundle said. “That twist involves fake auto damage claims with the same car from accidents that never happened.”

The large scam reportedly involved customers as well as claim adjusters who worked for Geico, and the scams would sometimes even involve pictures of the same car, bearing the same damage, over and over again.

“These arrests focus on actual insurance company employees,” Rundle explained during the press conference. “Claim adjusters who were an essential part of this insurance scam.”

One such person was identified by law enforcement as Juan Carlos Diaz, a Geico claim adjuster. According to WFOR, Diaz reportedly “conducted … phony inspections and issued checks.”

Another person identified in the investigation was Cesar Santiago Tapanes, another Geico claim adjuster, who allegedly “approved fake claims and collected kickbacks.”

WFOR reported that ringleaders involved with the scam recruited people to phone in claims, and even provide VIN numbers to vehicles that were reportedly damaged.

Who were the organizers of the scam?

During the news conference, Rundle named the purported organizers, Sepp Lewis Tevini, who reportedly represented body shops involved in the scam, and Estevenson Dorval, who reportedly recruited those making bogus calls to the insurance company.

WFOR reported that Tevini has been charged with multiple counts of racketeering, organized fraud, and grand theft.