6th Lawyer Arrested in South Florida Insurance Fraud Crackdown

Lake Worth attorney Jason Dalley is the latest South Florida attorney arrested in an insurance fraud sting, bringing the count of lawyers ensnared in the far-reaching investigation to at least six.

He faces one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and health care fraud.

Prosecutors charged Dalley, 66, by information, which suggests his cooperation in the investigation. They allege he paid more than $1 million in kickbacks to tow truck drivers and others to illegally solicit accident victims for personal injury lawsuits.

“Defendant Dalley and other corrupt personal injury attorneys hired individuals who portrayed themselves as investigators and/or case managers in order to illegally solicit patients, and to corruptly instruct such patients as to the conduct necessary to facilitate the fraud,” according to the charging document.

Dalley is the principal of the Law Offices of Jason Steven Dalley, a personal injury and criminal defense firm in Delray Beach. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1995. His bar file lists him as an attorney in good standing but also shows two disciplinary actions in the last 10 years. One of these disciplinary actions involves allegations of payments for referrals from nonattorneys.

In February 2009, Dalley admitted “minor misconduct” over a newspaper advertisement he said a former employee had placed on his firm’s behalf targeting Orlando’s Vietnamese community. He claimed he had not reviewed the ad, which contained language violating Florida Bar rules. That ad included photographs and contact information for nonlawyers, who said Dalley’s employee agreed to pay them for making referrals to the law firm. Florida Bar rules prohibit attorneys from sharing fees with nonlawyers. In his admission, Dalley agreed to pay the bar’s court costs and a $1,250 administrative charge.

The incident ended with an admonishment, an agreement Dalley would attend the bar’s advertising workshop and a requirement he obtain pre-publication review and approval on all ads for one year.

Then in January 2012, a second complaint: a charge Dalley took “little or no significant action” for more than four years on a personal injury case, causing his client to lose her claim after the statute of limitations expired. In that case, Dalley proffered a conditional guilty plea for consent judgment. He got a public reprimand, administered by publication, and had to pay the bar’s legal costs.

Now, new trouble for the attorney, accused of illegal collaboration with two clinics: Margate Physicians and Broward Spine and Rehab. Prosecutors allege he paid tow truck drivers $2,000 to $2,500 per client. They also claim he and alleged accomplices set rules requiring accomplices to assure patients received multiple treatments.

“If the automobile accident victim was not treated at a co-conspirator chiropractic clinic at least five times, then the illegal kickback payment would be applied in reference to a patient who conformed to the instructions of the co-conspirators.”

Investigators put the spotlight on insurance fraud and arrested five other attorneys: Vincent Pravato, 48, and Mark Spatz, 58, of Davie; Adam Hurtig, 46, of Fort Lauderdale; Alexander Kapetan, 44, of Lighthouse Point; and Steven Slootsky, 57, of Boca Raton.

And police sources say more arrests are coming as part of an FBI-led multiagency investigation into alleged wrongdoing by personal injury attorneys.

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