FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Five lawyers were arrested after they were accused of participating in an insurance scheme that targeted accident victims.
Wearing cuffs and being escorted by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies, Adam Hurtig, 46, Steven Slootsky, 57, Alexander Kapetan, 45, and Mark Spatz, 58, all had nothing to say to 7News cameras.
The only subject missing from the line-up was 48-year-old Vincent Pravato.
“The personal injury attorneys were exploiting the motor vehicle accident victims in this case,” said BSO Detective Kristy Frederick. “[They] were using them to, basically, pad their pockets with money.”
All five attorneys turned themselves in to BSO deputies Sept. 6.
All five attorneys are accused of patient brokering, which is receiving a kickback or bribe in exchange for referring patients to a health care provider.
“Within a couple hours, sometimes days, after the motor vehicle accident, these people would receive a call and/or a knock at their door from a solicitor or someone representing the attorney,” said Frederick.
The solicitors would obtain the accident victims’ information, according to police.
Solicitor Mark Eskin works for a tow truck company and shielded his face from 7News cameras. Solicitors Elvira and James Perchitti had a crash investigation company that could obtain victims’ information fast.
According to the arrest report, the Perchittis illegally gave the names to Slootsky. The attorneys would then give the solicitors cash. Accident victims’ were then referred to a medical clinic.
“The clinic owner and/or operator would pay the attorney for that client,” said Frederick. “In our 19-month investigation, the cash kick-back totaled over a half million dollars in cash that was paid to these five attorneys.”
The multi-agency investigation involved BSO, Fort Lauderdale Police, attorney general and now the FBI.
“This is still an ongoing investigation. There are charges pending, and there will be other arrests made in this case,” said Frederick.
The solicitors face a list of charges along with the attorneys. All five attorneys have been reported to the Florida Bar Association.
“That’s why you and I pay so much for motor vehicle insurance, because of schemes like this,” said Frederick.
All of the doctor’s offices involved have been shut down. 7News has reached out to the attorneys for comment, but they have yet to call back.