Arrests for April 2001
These arrests were made possible through the cooperation of the Frauds Bureau, law enforcement, the insurance industry and the public.
To report suspected incidents of insurance fraud, call 1-888-FRAUDNY
INSURANCE AGENCY WORKER PLEADS GUILTY
An officer manager for a licensed insurance agent in Rochester pled guilty to grand larceny in the 2nd degree in Monroe County Court on 4/9/01. She was arrested on 6/2/00 on charges that from March 1996 to October 1998, she diverted customer premiums totaling more than $180,000 to an operating account and used the funds for her personal use. When an insurer audit revealed that the funds did not appear in the premium account, an investigation was initiated by the Frauds Bureau, the Irondequoit Police Department and the insurer. The defendant also pled guilty to grand larceny in the 3rd degree for stealing over $3,600 from the accounts of two customers at a credit union where she was employed as a teller. She faces up to 15 years in prison.
GUILTY PLEA IN WORKERS COMP CASE
A self-employed contractor from Rochester pled guilty on 4/3/01 to criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 3rd degree and was sentenced to one-year conditional discharge and a $90 court surcharge. On three occasions, the subject altered and submitted certificates of insurance to indicate that he had workers compensation and other insurance coverages when in fact he had none. He submitted the certificates to a contractor in order to obtain work on various projects without securing the appropriate insurance. The investigation was conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Monroe County Sheriffs Office.
- UPPING THE ANTE
Arrested on 4/17/01
Charged with insurance fraud
The subject in this case filed an insurance claim for a motorcycle accident claiming damages in excess of $23,000. However, he is accused of submitting fraudulent invoices and receipts in order to enhance the amount of the actual damage. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Rockland County District Attorneys Office led to the arrest.
- STOW IT!
Arrested on 4/16/01
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree
Following a fire in his home, this defendant had some property stored in a storage facility. He subsequently presented an allegedly fraudulent document indicating that he had insurance to cover the storage fees totaling nearly $4,300. The storage facility accepted the document and moved the property to the defendants new residence. He was arrested following an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Rotterdam Police Department.
- AUTO THEFT OR DRUG TRADE?
Arrested on 4/10/01
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
The suspect in this case reported to the Rochester Police Department on 6/22/00 that his car had been stolen. The Rochester Police Department refused to file a report of theft because they suspected that the defendant had given his car up in exchange for drugs. On 6/27, he informed his insurer that the car had been stolen but neglected to tell the insurer that he had been unable to get a police report because of his admission that he had traded his car for drugs. Without a police report, the insurer would not proceed with the case. So the next day, 6/28, the suspect contacted the Rochester Police Department again. This time he signed affidavits stating that he had given his car up for drugs and that he would testify against the drug dealer if the dealer were caught. The police department issued a police report. The car was recovered on 7/6 and the insurance company adjuster appraised damages in the amount of $3,550. The suspect filed a claim for reimbursement. And in spite of the fact that the police report contained his statement admitting that he had willingly given up his car in exchange for drugs, he continued to insist to his insurer that his car had been stolen by a person unknown to him: the first time in a tape recorded statement on 7/6; the second time in a signed affidavit on 7/19; and a third time on 7/24 when his insurer asked him point blank if he had traded the car for drugs and he answered no. The defendant was arrested by a Frauds Bureau investigator with the assistance of a member of the Greece Police Department.
- STOLEN CAR: PART 2
Arrested on 4/5/01
Charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree
A Buffalo woman was arrested on 3/27/01 and charged with insurance fraud. The woman claimed that her car had been stolen from the parking lot of a supermarket on December 11, 2000. Her insurer reimbursed her in the amount of $15,500. However, an investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the New York State Police and the womans insurance company produced evidence that the car has been in a repair shop with a seized motor from November 2000 through January 2001. Further investigation in the case revealed that the owner of the repair shop was in on the scheme. The charges state that he knew the car had been falsely reported stolen, yet he concealed the car in his shop for two months to prevent its recovery. He was arrested on 4/5/01.
- A BANG-UP JOB
Arrested on 4/4/01
Charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud and falsifying business records
Two auto body shop owners and two employees were arrested in connection with a scam in which they allegedly increased the damage to already-damaged cars so that they could collect more money from insurers. Three auto body shops with which they were connected were also charged. Two Frauds Bureau investigators worked undercover to expose the scam. At various times during the course of the investigation, the investigators, acting as ordinary drivers who needed their cars repaired, placed six damaged vehicles with the three auto body shops. In each case, the extent of the damage and the cost of the repairs were estimated beforehand by a certified New York State Insurance Department appraiser. The defendants instructed the "drivers" to contact their respective insurance companies and leave the cars in the shops to be inspected by the insurers appraisers. However, before the insurers appraisers had the opportunity to inspect the cars, the defendants allegedly did enough additional damage to hike up the repair estimates by more than $19,000 above the original estimates. The investigation was conducted jointly by the Frauds Bureau and the Queens District Attorneys Office.