Published: Dec 12, 2012 11:30 PM EST
Updated: Dec 12, 2012 11:32 PM EST

Fort Myers, Florida - A federal jury found Cape Coral residents Francisco Huici Fernandez, (40) and Adrian Perez (22) guilty of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and mail fraud on Tuesday. Perez was also found guilty of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of mail fraud. The maximum penalty for each conspiracy count and each mail fraud count is 20 years in federal prison. The maximum penalty for each health care fraud count is 10 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled for March 11, 2013.


According to evidence presented at trial, C & A Family Rehab Center (C&A) in Cape Coral operated as a chiropractic clinic. Fernandez referred two participants from a staged crash, who were actually undercover agents, to C & A for medical treatment. As part of the conspiracy, the referred patients were to be paid for treatment that they received at C & A. Perez was responsible for billing at C & A, and falsely billed an insurance company for treatment that the undercover agents never received.


The investigation of C & A Family Rehab Center was associated with "Operation Whiplash." Operation Whiplash was a joint law enforcement operation, lasting thirteen months. The investigation targeted staged automobile crash participants and chiropractic clinics involved in the fraudulent billing of insurance companies for medical treatment that was not provided.


This case was investigated by the Cape Coral Police Department, United States Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, National Insurance Crime Bureau, and the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesus M. Casas.