MLB star arrested over alleged insurance fraud

Florida-based ex-ball player in court after DFS investigation

MLB star arrested over alleged insurance fraud

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

A former pro baseball player has been arrested and charged with insurance fraud.

Yuniesky Betancourt, a former shortstop for the Milwaukee Brewers, was one of four people arrested and charged in the case in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.

The four are accused of staging an accident in order to collect insurance payouts, according to a report by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They were charged with filing false insurance claims, an organized scheme to defraud, staging an accident and third-degree grand theft. The charges came following an investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).

Betancourt, who is being represented by the public defender’s office, is currently free on bond.

“It doesn’t matter how clever you think your scheme may be, if you commit fraud in Florida, you will be caught and brought to justice,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “Staging accidents is incredibly dangerous, and fraud like this costs every Floridian in the form of higher auto insurance premiums. We must continue to work together to do everything we can to uncover these fraud schemes and bring these scam artists to justice.”

According to DFS investigators, Betancourt – along with alleged accomplices Abel Vera, Nancy Mercedes Pena, and Maura Perez – staged a crash in Miami in December of 2022. After reporting the accident to the police and the automobile’s insurer, Kemper Insurance, the four allegedly sought treatment and physical therapy for injuries they did not actually sustain.

Kemper Insurance was billed more than $61,000 and paid out more than $22,800 for therapy, to which none of the four were entitled, the DFS said.

After performing an accident reconstruction and gathering data from a vehicle event data recorder, investigators concluded that the accident never happened as reported to the police and Kemper Insurance, the DFS said.

If convicted on all charges, each of the four alleged conspirators could serve up to 10 years in prison, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

In addition to the Milwaukee Brewers, Betancourt played for the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners. He spent nine seasons in the major leagues and made almost $16 million in career earnings, according to the Journal Sentinel.

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