Two West Palm Beach Moms Sentenced for Using Their Children in Staged Accident Scams
|Ana Ovando (Palm Beach Sheriff's Office)|
Ana Ovando, a 42-year-old West Palm Beach mother, was sentenced to 78 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for using her kids in staged car crashes to make cash.
Ovando used her five children -- aged 3 to 17 -- during three separate staged accidents that occurred within a 12-month period.
Janice Velez, 39, also of West Palm Beach, was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for using her two children during one staged accident.
Ovando and Velez and other co-conspirators looked to make some money by submitting fraudulent PIP claims for chiropractic and massage therapy treatments for them and their children that neither they nor their children needed.
Ovando took her kids to New York Medical and Rehab Center, while Velez took hers to Karow Chiropractic Center, both located in West Palm Beach.
Massage therapists admitted that Ovando and Velez signed blank treatment sheets that the massage therapists later completed and submitted to the insurance company for reimbursement.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Ovando also involved her children in other scams, including a case in which she defrauded a Guatemalan couple out of $20,000 by claiming she could help them get green cards.
Ovando was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $71,300 in restitution to the insurance companies. The judge also ordered Ovando be turned over for deportation to her native Dominican Republic when she is eligible for release from prison.