DETROIT (FOX 2) – Six people are accused of using Michigan car crash victims as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
According to Attorney General Dana Nessel, Michael Angelo, who is from New Jersey, set up a hotline with the number 1-800-USLawyer in 2013. When victims called the hotline, Angelo and his assistant, Ybana Agrelo, would allegedly refer the callers to Michigan Accidents Associates, and other law firms Angelo conspired with, for legal representation.
These law firms would direct the victims to enterprises Angelo is alleged to have owned or controlled for treatment, including Mercyland Health Services, Greater Lakes Ambulatory Surgical Center, Tox Testing, Inc. dba Paragon Diagnostics, and US Health Pharmaceuticals dba Meds Direct.
Then, obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Chitra Sinha is accused of taking the victims through a predetermined protocol that included office visits, alleged medical devices and injections completed at the Greater Lakes Surgical Center, prescribing medications that were then dispensed by Robert Presley at Meds Direct Pharmacy, drug screens every 30 days billed by Tox Testing/Paragon Diagnostics, and referrals to physical therapy and diagnostic imaging with other coconspirators.
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The businesses then billed no-fault auto insurance carriers or the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan for the uninsured victims.
“This type of fraud is not just dangerous to the wellbeing of accident victims and a drain on the no-fault system; it exploits citizens who may be financially vulnerable and puts them at risk of harm,” Nessel said. “I am grateful for the work of the fraud investigation teams at the Department of Insurance and Financial Services’ and my department’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit who worked tirelessly for years to see this case through.”
A years-long investigation included reviewing more than 15,000 audio files of wiretap conversations and more than