Miami-Dade Fiscal Office has announced the arrest of 12 current and former student transportation employees for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance claims totaling $426,933.
In its June 28 announcement, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said the bus drivers and attendants followed the direction of alleged “ringleader” Shaneua Latoya Vela, a former Miami-Dade School District employee. The employees allegedly used the personal information of approximately 11 children and filed fraudulent insurance reimbursement claims.
School Transportation News reached out to the Miami Dade press office for the finance department, but it has not responded to questions asking to confirm if the children were students of the Miami-Dade school district.
However, a Miami-Dade school district’s communications representative told School Transportation News that “anytime an employee is arrested and charged with something that would be considered a disqualifying offense, we will be moving to terminate.”
The press release stated that between 2015 and 2018, 68 fraudulent accident injury insurance claims were submitted to an insurance company using the same injury accident information. The employees obtained the medical records and filed the insurance claims acting as the parent of each child.
All arrested individuals were booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. They were charged with organized scheme to defraud, grand theft, and false and fraudulent insurance claims, according to the announcement.
The arrested suspects are: Shanequa Latoya Veal; Davina Renee Stephens; Charlie Griffin III; Sylvia Albertha Nickle; Keyonna Lacrice McCown-Persaud; Ruby Ray Carter; Evette Nicole Woodard; Shevet Walker Mabry; Alma Denise Jackson; Regina Cettali Johnson; Gervanna Vikers; and Shenna Denise Lewis.