Arrests for September 2007
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
Former real estate agent James Insinga was sentenced to ten years in federal prison for his role as leader of an arson ring that collected more than $400,000 in fraudulent insurance claims for fires in Delaware, Otsego and Chenango Counties. He was also ordered to pay $430,000 in restitution. He is one of six people convicted and sentenced in this case. The investigation was opened in 2001 when the Frauds Bureau was contacted by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, which had received “source information” that Insinga had solicited an individual to buy a home, furnish it, purchase insurance on it and then burn it. Investigators linked Insinga, his business partner and four others to the fires in the three upstate counties. The fires were set in such a way that investigators initially were unable to identify the fact that they were set intentionally. The Frauds Bureau, the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, the State Police and the FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of fire coordinators and fire departments in Delaware, Otsego and Chenango Counties.
- MIDNIGHT MISCHIEF
Arrested on 9/29/07
Charged with grand larceny in the 4th degree
The suspect in this case reported to the police that, while walking after midnight on a rural route in upstate New York, he was struck by a car whose driver then fled the scene. He sustained numerous injuries, including a broken leg, and was treated at a local hospital. However, during an investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, investigators learned that the car the suspect claimed had hit him had been stolen from a service station parking lot located on the route he had allegedly been walking on when he was hit. Evidence showed that the suspect stole the car and was subsequently involved in an accident that involved only the vehicle he was driving. He eventually admitted to investigators that he had stolen the car.
- NO ENTITLEMENT
Arrested on 9/26/07
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
In December 2005, a postal worker sustained a back injury in an auto accident and began collecting lost-wage benefits. In January 2007, she returned to work as a mail carrier. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau revealed that she continued to collect benefits until May 2007 during which time she received $10,000 to which she was not entitled. In fact, she submitted five documents to her insurer stating that she was unable to work. When faced with the evidence, the suspect gave a written statement to investigators admitting the fraud.
- MATCHING NUMBERS
Arrested on 9/17/07
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau led to the arrest of an upstate woman charged with filing an allegedly fraudulent claim with State Farm Insurance Company. The claim was for repair of her roof which she stated had been damaged during an ice storm. In support of her claim, she submitted a receipt for the repair work from a local roofing contractor. When State Farm contacted the contractor, the insurer was told that the contractor had not done any work for the suspect, but they had recently put a new roof on the home of her son. Investigators subsequently discovered that the invoice number on the receipt the suspect had submitted to the insurer matched the invoice number for the new roof on her son’s home.
- HIGH MAINTENANCE
Arrested on 9/5/07
Charged with enterprise corruption and criminal possession of stolen property
The owner of a Queens taxi company and two chop-shop owners were arrested for their participation in an auto-theft ring. Seven other men were also charged and more arrests may be forthcoming. Ring members brought stolen cars to the chop shop where they were stripped and the parts delivered to the taxi company garage. The parts were used to maintain a fleet of 200 vehicles. The fleet owner is also under investigation by the Secret Service and the FBI for allegedly using stolen credit card numbers to purchase insurance for his cabs. The 21-month-long investigation that led to the arrests was conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division and the Queens DA’s Office.
A former insurance agency owner, Michael Maney, was sentenced on 8/29/07 to two years’ probation and six months of home confinement for diverting $132,000 in premiums to prop up his failing business. He was also ordered to pay full restitution. He pleaded guilty in May 2007 to misappropriation of insurance funds following an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI.
- DOUBLE DIPPING
Arrested on 9/27/07
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 4th degree
The defendant in this case reported to Republic Western Insurance Company that on 12/21/05 his 1994 Mercury Sable was struck by a U-Haul truck on a local street in Rochester. Republic was the insurer of the U-Haul truck. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Rochester Police Department’s Auto Crimes Unit and Republic uncovered evidence that this defendant had been involved in an accident in May 2005 and had been paid $2,500 by GMAC Insurance for the damage. GMAC was the insurer of the other driver involved in the accident. Investigators learned that the defendant never had his car repaired and submitted the second claim in an effort to be reimbursed twice for the same damage.
- NO-FAULT FRAUD
Arrested on 6/19/07
Chargedwith with falsifying business records
This suspect, while acting in concert with two others not yet arrested, allegedly altered a legitimate Police Accident Report which he then used to receive treatment for nonexistent injuries under the no-fault portion of his auto insurance coverage.