MIAMI – Last summer Local 10 News reported on about a dozen current and former Miami-Dade school bus employees who allegedly filed fraudulent insurance claims totaling almost half a million dollars.
Investigators said it was under the direction of a ringleader, identified as Shanequa Latoya Veal.
On Monday there was another arrest in this case; 43-year-old Ebony Peters Willis.
An arrest report states investigators caught Peters Willis conspiring with the same alleged ringleader, Veal, with the same actions; filing multiple insurance claims for “nonexistent dependents” where she received payouts of nearly $24,000.
The report said Peters Willis listed children as dependents and claimed they suffered various injuries, ranging from bicycle crashes to car accidents. She also allegedly submitted doctored crash reports and fake medical records to get money from a supplemental insurance plan.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis released a statement to Local 10 News on Tuesday that said:
“I’m sick and tired of criminals thinking they can get away with ripping off hard working Florida families. This type of fraud impacts everyone as it raises insurance rates across the state. As your CFO, I’m committed to making sure these criminals are brought to justice. I applaud the dedication of my fraud detectives for their efforts to hold this alleged scam artist accountable.”
State leaders had previously weighed in on the June bust, with Patronis saying last year, “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and drives up rates for every Florida household.”
Florida State Attorney for Miami-Dade County Katherine Fernandez Rundle added, “When public employees are a part of the problem and when public medical benefits are used to make the scheme work, these are shameful events. They are also crimes.”
If this all sounds familiar, ten years ago several other Miami-Dade school bus employees were busted in another insurance fraud scheme that cost taxpayers millions of dollars, in which they also filied false claims for medical treatments they never received.