Arrests for November 2004
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
Arrested on 11/24/04
Charged with forgery in the 3rd degree
The defendant in this case submitted Certificates of Insurance as proof that insurance coverage was in effect for five construction jobs. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police determined that the Certificates had actually expired and the defendant altered them to indicate the coverage was current.
Arrested on 11/23/04
Charged with offering a false instrument for filing and insurance fraud in the 5th degree
The Frauds Bureau, the Nassau County DA's Office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, with the assistance of the Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC), conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of eight individuals for their participation in a no-fault insurance scheme that targeted mainly Hispanic patients admitted to NUMC emergency rooms following auto accidents. Among those arrested was an employee of Nassau University Medical Center's Patients Accounts Department who illegally accessed confidential patient information and sold it to runners who, for fees that ranged from $1,500 to $5,000 per referral, steered the patients to medical providers and attorneys who were in on the scam. This investigation is ongoing and may lead to additional arrests. (Three of the suspects were arrested on 11/18/04.)
BORROWED, NOT STOLEN
Arrested on 11/22/04
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree, falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree and making a punishable false written statement
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the State Police and Progressive Insurance Company's Special Investigations Unit resulted in the arrest of an unemployed upstate resident. On August 30, 2004, the suspect reported to the State Police that his 1999 Dodge Durango, valued at $14,627, had been stolen from the New York State Thruway Exit 49 Park and Ride Lot. The next day, he gave a statement under oath to the State Police denying any knowledge of the whereabouts of his car or any suspects in the theft. He filed a claim with Progressive for the loss in September. However, during the course of the investigation, he was subject to a second interview in November and at that time he admitted that his car had not been stolen but rather had been borrowed by a friend.
IN THE FIELD
Arrested on 11/14/04
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, attempted grand larceny in the 3rd degree and falsely reporting an incident
An upstate man reported his 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up truck stolen from his driveway in the early morning hours of 9/29/04 and filed a claim for $10,500 with Progressive Insurance Company. However, an investigation uncovered evidence that he had actually left his truck in a field on that night and recovered it the next day. Yet he and his girlfriend continued to pursue the fraudulent insurance claim and both submitted fraudulent documents to support it. The couple was arrested as a result of the combined efforts of the Frauds Bureau, the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Progressive's Special Investigations Unit.
Arrested on 11/12/04
Charged with arson in the 2nd and 3rd degrees, insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and grand larceny in the 3rd degree
This suspect filed a claim for damage to his home and personal contents caused by a fire in December 2001 and was subsequently paid nearly $9,500 for the loss by Allstate Insurance Company. Skip to early 2004. The suspect contracted with the landlord of a home in Rochester to complete interior and exterior renovations while the landlord was out of state on business. The landlord paid for the materials and labor up front, instructing the suspect that the work was to be completed by the time he returned. On 3/13/04, the landlord informed the suspect that he had cut his business trip short and was enroute to Rochester. However, before his return, the property caught fire. The landlord, innocent of any wrongdoing, filed a claim with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and collected more than $99,000 for damage to the building and its contents. While investigating the 2004 fire, the facts surrounding the 2001 incident came to light and the suspect was charged with intentionally setting both fires. The resourcefulness and expertise of the Frauds Bureau, the Rochester Police Department/Fire Department Arson Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were responsible for the successful completion of both cases and the subsequent arrest.
THAT'S A LOT OF DOUGH
Arrested on 11/10/04
Charged with insurance fraud, falsifying business records and violation of the Workers' Compensation Law
An investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the State Insurance Fund and the Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General's Office led to the arrest of a Fulton, NY, truck driver for allegedly cheating the workers' compensation system. From June 2000 to September 2004, the defendant collected nearly $71,500 in benefits to which he was not entitled. During that time, he filed documents with the Fund stating that he was unable to work. However, evidence revealed that he was in fact driving a truck during the period in question.
OPERATION FAMILY TIES
Arrested on 11/9/04
Charged with enterprise corruption, insurance fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the NYPD's Auto Crime Division and the Brooklyn DA's Office resulted in the takedown of an auto insurance fraud ring operating out of an auto salvage yard in Brooklyn. The three-year investigation led to the arrest of 24 individuals including three organized-crime figures with ties to the Gambino and Bonanno crime families. In a typical scenario, car owners voluntarily "gave up" their cars to body shop operators who then dismantled the vehicles and sold the parts. Once the parts were sold and the hulk of the cars destroyed, the owners would report the cars stolen and collect the insurance settlements. Among those arrested were the operators of the salvage yard, buyers of the stripped auto parts and others who gave up their high-end cars. Together, the cars had an estimated value of $1.5 million.
WHERE'S THE JEWELRY?
Arrested on 11/8/04
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
The defendant in this case reported to New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company that her home had been burglarized and jewelry had been stolen. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau concluded that the jewelry had not been taken at all and the claim was fraudulent.
- A COUPLE OF CHEATERS
Arrested on 11/05/04
Charged with violation of the Workers' Compensation Law
A Long Island couple, co-owners of a roofing company, was accused of under-reporting their payroll on an audit form submitted to the State Insurance Fund in order to avoid paying adequate premiums for their workers' compensation coverage. The couple allegedly hired illegal immigrants who were paid off the books, thus allowing them to pay about $89,000 less in premiums from November 2002 to January 2004 than they would have paid had they reported the accurate number of workers they employed.
John Breen, a licensed insurance agent, pled guilty on 10/22/04 to defrauding his step daughter, a supermodel, of more than $7 million. Breen convinced the woman to allow him limited power of attorney in some of her financial affairs. Over a five year period, he forged her name to letters to insurance companies, cashing in insurance policies and putting the money to personal use. His arrest was the result of the joint efforts of the Frauds Bureau, the Watertown Police Department and the Jefferson County DA's Office.
Madge Flynn, a social worker who pled guilty to insurance fraud in the 4th degree, was sentenced to three years of conditional discharge and 50 hours of community service for billing for services not provided. In addition, her professional license is being reviewed by the State Education Department. During 2000 and 2001, Flynn billed Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield for $44,000 for patient appointments that never took place. She repaid Excellus prior to her sentencing. The Frauds Bureau and the Oneida County DA's Office pooled resources in this investigation.