A former Major League Baseball player has been charged with insurance fraud, according to a release issued yesterday by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.

Yuniesky Betancourt, a former nine season shortstop, along with three others, Abel Vera, Nancy Mercedes Pena and Maura Perez, was charged with allegedly staging an automobile accident and providing false documents of the accident with police.

The four had a goal of reporting the accident to automobile insurance company Kemper Insurance to exploit the personal injury and protection (PIP) benefits associated with the auto policy for financial gain.

The four were involved in a staged crash in Miami on Dec. 6, 2022.

Evidence gathered by the Division of Investigative and Forensic Services’ Miami Field Office, including an accident reconstruction and data gathered from the vehicle Event Data Recorder, revealed the accident never occurred as reported to the police and Kemper Insurance.

After the accident report date, all four individuals purportedly sought treatment and physical therapy for injuries they never sustained regarding the accident.

Kemper Insurance was billed over $61,000 from the two clinics and paid out over $22,800 for therapy for which none of the four individuals were entitled.

All four individuals were arrested on April 12, 2024, and booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Center in Miami on charges of staged accident, insurance fraud, organized scheme to defraud, and grand theft.

Each faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on all charges.