MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A Florida Highway Patrol trooper, a body shop owner and a dentist are facing charges in connection with an insurance fraud scheme nearly two years after a hit-and-run crash.
According to an FHP news release sent Tuesday, the dentist, Jesus Enrique Del Valle, struck and seriously injured a landscape employee with his Range Rover on June 30, 2015, in Miami Beach and fled the scene.
Authorities said Del Valle, 51, took his SUV to an auto repair shop owned by his girlfriend’s cousin, Ariel Perera.
De Valle then contacted a friend, Trooper David Casillas, 35, who provided a false accident report so Del Valle could get his insurance company to pay for the repair work, authorities said.
The accident report claimed that Del Valle had struck a palm tree far from Miami Beach seven days after the actual June 30 crash.
Authorities said Perera charged the insurance company for parts that were not needed and never replaced.
The trio was arrested Tuesday on charges of filing a false insurance claim and organized scheme to defraud.
Del Valle also faces charges of unlawful use of a two-way communication device, grand theft and leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury.
Perera also faces a grand theft charge and Casillas faces charges of official misconduct and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
"Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing one of our troopers was arrested as a result of this investigation," Lt. Yosdany Veloz said in a statement. "The Florida Highway Patrol does not tolerate any conduct that discredits the integrity of the Division."
Casillas was fired from the FHP in January.