WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — A Wyoming massage therapist could spend decades in prison for his role in an elaborate scheme to bilk insurance companies with no-fault policies by staging car crashes.
According to The U.S. Department of Justice, Yosiler Herrera-Enriquez became the fifth person Tuesday to plead guilty for his role in a ring that operated in West Michigan from April 2012 to May 2015.
The DOJ said the suspects operated three therapy clinics: Revive Therapy Center and HH Rehab Center in Wyoming and Renue Therapy Center in Lansing.
According to the federal agency, the suspects paid people to stage crashes, obtain a police report and open an insurance claim. The suspects would then tell the fake crash victims what symptoms to fake to get a doctor tied to the scheme to sign a prescription for physical therapy.
The DOJ says the fake crash victims would sign blank therapy treatment forms also signed by the suspects to make it appear they were being treated at one of the clinics. The clinics would then file the false treatment forms to get money from auto insurance companies.
“Sadly, we all suffer the consequences when higher rates get passed on to the consumers due to the increased costs of business,” stated Steve Francis of the Homeland Security Investigations’ Detroit field office.
Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge said the scheme additionally tied up local police, who had to respond to the staged crashes to fill out accident reports.
Herrera-Enriquez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He faces up to 20 years in prison and must pay restitution to the auto insurance companies that were defrauded.
Another Wyoming resident, 31-year-old Dolis Rojas-Lopez, previously pleaded guilty in the scheme, along with three people from Lansing.
Three others in Florida – Belkis Soca-Fernadez, David Sosa-Baladron and Antonio Ramon Martinez-Lopez – were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for their role in the ring in March. They face up to 20 years in prison and must pay restitution to the comnpanies that were defrauded.