Arrests for January 2005
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
Clifford Travers, a revoked agent/broker, was sentenced on 1/12/05 to three years probation and fined $3,762 following his 10/20/04 conviction for misappropriating $8,000 in premiums from various clients. Travers also took out a $3,100 loan on a clients insurance policy without the knowledge of the client and had the check mailed to his own home. The Frauds Bureau worked closely with the Nassau County DAs Office in the investigation that led to his arrest and conviction.
A former New York City Police Officer, Michael Musantry, pled guilty to insurance fraud on 1/31/05. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Pelham Manor Police Department resulted in his arrest for submitting fraudulent receipts in support of a $10,000 claim for electronic equipment that he reported was stolen from his home.
- ADD ON
Arrested on 1/31/05
Charged with grand larceny and insurance fraud
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPDs Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad resulted in the arrest of a Brooklyn man accused of allowing his name to be added to a legitimate Police Accident Report. The defendant was paid a "fee" for agreeing to seek treatment at a particular medical facility. His insurer was subsequently billed for more than $8,000 in treatments for nonexistent injuries.
- THATS A LOT OF FELONY
Arrested on 1/27/05
Charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny, attempted grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument
An unemployed Rochester resident reported to the Rochester Police Department that his home had been burglarized on 2/26/03 and that personal property was stolen. He submitted a claim to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company with allegedly fraudulent receipts as evidence of the purchase and ownership of the stolen property and was paid more than $19,000 for the loss. On 6/28/04, he again reported to the Rochester Police Department that a burglary had occurred at his home. Once more, he filed a claim with Liberty Mutual, stating that personal property had been stolen and included receipts as proof of purchase. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Rochester Police Department and Liberty Mutuals SIU revealed that two of the receipts submitted in connection with the 2004 burglary were identical to receipts submitted in connection with the earlier burglary. Indeed, all of the receipts for both events were found to be fraudulent. He was charged with 13 felony counts of insurance fraud, grand larceny and possession of a forged instrument for the 2003 claim and five felony counts of insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and possession of a forged instrument for the 2004 claim.
- BUTCHER BLOCKED
Arrested on 1/24/05
Charged with grand larceny, insurance fraud, falsifying business records and fraudulent practices under the Workers Compensation Law
Following a work-related injury, a Bronx butcher began collecting workers compensation benefits and in July 2003 and 2004, he affirmed to the State Insurance Fund that he was not employed. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Fund uncovered evidence that he had returned to work and that from 5/03 to 7/04, he collected benefits to which he was not entitled.
Arrested on 1/27/05
Charged with reckless endangerment and insurance fraud
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County DAs Insurance Crimes Bureau led to the arrest of a Brooklyn man who, while working in consort with two others previously arrested in this case, allegedly caused an auto accident on the Long Island Expressway. This defendant, the driver of a 1997 Lincoln Town Car, allegedly stopped short, causing another car to hit his car in the rear. He and his two passengers were taken to a local hospital for treatment for which OneBeacon Insurance Company paid out more than $24,000 in no-fault and property damage benefits.
Arrested on 1/12/05
Charged with insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument
The suspect in this case was charged with submitting forged disability benefit forms to State Farm Insurance Company stating she was unable to work following an auto accident. The documents were intended to support her no-fault claim for lost-wage benefits.
Arrested on 1/12/05
Charged with use of fire to commit a felony and wire fraud
This defendant was accused of conspiring to destroy a building co-owned by him and another person for the purpose of collecting an insurance settlement. The indictment charged that in March 2002, he offered a third party $10,000 to set fire to the property and "make it look like an accident." He filed a claim with Farmers Insurance Company, including a Property Loss Statement and Proof of Loss which he transmitted to the insurer by facsimile, thus the charge of wire fraud. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found he used the insurance proceeds to pay off the bribe.
- ALL IN THE FAMILY
Arrested on 1/10/05
Charged with insurance fraud and attempted grand larceny
On 3/13/04, a Buffalo man reported to the Buffalo Police Department that his mothers 1999 Dodge Intrepid had been stolen. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Buffalo Police Departments Auto Theft Unit and the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance revealed that the car was in a repair shop in New Jersey at the time of the alleged theft. Both the son and the mother knew the car had not been stolen.
Arrested on 1/6/05
Charged with enterprise corruption, burglary, grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, forgery of vehicle identification numbers and conspiracy
A motorcycle theft and fencing ring comprised of 16 individuals including fences, locators and "steal men" that allegedly stole more than 81 imported motorcycles valued at more than $1 million was closed down following a nine-month undercover sting operation. The investigation began in March 2004 when a motorcycle owner reported to the NYPD that he recognized parts of his motorcycle, which had been stolen from the driveway next to his home, being offered for sale on e-Bay. The NYPDs Auto Crime Division launched a wider investigation in conjunction with the Queens DAs Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau and the Frauds Bureau. The defendants were accused with burglarizing homes and stealing motorcycles in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The steal men drove or hauled the motorcycles by van to garages in Queens where they were chopped up, identification numbers on the parts were altered, the parts photographed for Internet sale, and then packaged for shipment to purchasers from Ohio and California, as well as Italy, Spain and Australia. Investigators executed eight court-authorized search warrants on October 20-21, 2004 at the garages and at the homes of four of the defendants and recovered $169,000 in cash, several computers that allegedly contained records of the rings Internet sales, and numerous stolen motorcycle engines and other parts, two stolen cars and tools used to dismantle vehicles and alter their identification numbers. In addition, NYPD detectives coordinated with investigators in Ohio and California for the execution of 15 "sneak and peak" search warrants which allowed law enforcement officers to covertly open packages containing stolen engines shipped by the alleged fences, photograph the contents and their identification numbers, reseal the packages and forward them to their intended destinations, enabling the investigation to continue.
Arrested on 12/30/04
Charged with insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny and falsely reporting an incident
The Frauds Bureau, the Cheektowaga Police Department and State Farm Insurance Companys SIU pooled resources in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a construction company owner on charges that he attempted to defraud State Farm. The defendant submitted allegedly fraudulent receipts totaling $4,695 to support a claim for a snowplow he said was stolen from his vehicle.
BACK TO JUSTICE
Arrested on 12/27/05
Charged with conspiracy and wire fraud
A former upstate insurance adjuster was arrested by the Sheriffs Department in New Port Richey, FL, and transported to Albany for arraignment. The defendant had been permitted by CNA Insurance Company to settle claims up to $25,000 and during 2000 and 2001, he issued numerous allegedly fraudulent checks in the amount of $113,600. The checks were mailed to unnamed co-conspirators who cashed them and shared the profit with the defendant. He was charged in New York in mid-December 2004 but fled to Florida before he was apprehended. The Frauds Bureau worked with the U.S. Attorneys Office on this investigation.
- Judah Feinerman, a New York businessman who was arrested on 2/5/04, was convicted on 11/22/04 of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The case against a second businessman arrested at the same time is currently being prepared for trial. The indictment charged that between 1998 and February 2003, the two offered insurance through several insurance brokerage firms they owned, collected premiums, but never actually obtained the coverage. In other instances, they obtained coverage but later canceled the policies, replacing them with less expensive and less valuable coverage. They also collected premiums to pay for one clients insurance and then used those funds to pay for insurance issued to another client. The cash was spent of vacation homes, gambling sprees and yachts. The investigation that brought about the arrests was conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the U.S. Attorneys Office.
- Lynbrook, NY, attorney Edward Abrams was convicted of insurance fraud on 11/3/04 for collecting $46,000 in disability benefits after he was injured in an auto accident. Investigators from the Frauds Bureau and the Nassau County DAs Office found that he continued to work from his home while collecting the benefits to which he was not entitled.
Arrested on 6/24/04
Charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud
The suspect in this case falsely reported to MetLife and Allstate Insurance Companies that his car had been involved in an accident in an effort to collect benefits under the no-fault portion of his insurance policy.