Arrests for October 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
An escort service operator who used female associates to stage auto accident and collect on insurance claims pleaded guilty on 10/29/07 to two counts of insurance fraud in the 3rd degree. He accepted a plea deal that will send him to prison for five-to-ten years. He and three accomplices were arrested on 10/23/07 and at that time, he admitted to using two of his escorts to drive U-Haul rental trucks into his vehicles, netting him more than $50,000 in insurance claims submitted to U-Haul’s insurer, Republic Western Insurance Company. The investigation that led to the arrests was conducted by the Monroe County Auto Crimes Task Force. Task Force members include the Frauds Bureau, the Monroe County DA’s and Sheriff’s Offices, the State Police Auto Theft Unit, the Rochester Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit and the DMV’s Criminal Investigation Unit.
- GUILTY PLEA
The defendant in this case pleaded guilty on 10/4/07 to grand larceny in the 3rd degree for his part in a scheme that cost Progressive Insurance Company $9,315 on a fraudulent stolen car claim. As part of a plea agreement, he will be sentenced to two-to-four years in prison. He and his girlfriend, a partner in crime, were arrested in July. The pair conspired to falsely report to the Rochester Police Department that a 1997 BMW had been stolen in June 2006. Acting on a tip, investigators from the Frauds Bureau and the Rochester PD’s Auto Theft Unit recovered the “stolen” car in the garage of a family member who was unaware that it had been reported stolen. The family member was storing it for the boyfriend while he was incarcerated in a federal prison on unrelated charges. Upon his release from prison, he was arrested.
- FURNITURE GIVEAWAY
Arrested on 10/25/07
Charged with falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree
On 7/9/07, a Rochester woman filed a claim with Vermont Mutual Insurance Company stating that $8,700 worth of furniture had been stolen from her home. To support her claim, she also reported the theft to the police. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Greece Police Department revealed that there had been no theft and the claim was fraudulent. During an interview with the defendant, she signed a written confession, stating that she had given the furniture to a friend and reported it stolen so she could pay her bills with the insurance settlement.
- AUTO FIRE
Arrested on 10/25/07
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees, insurance fraud in the 3rd and 4th degrees, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and making a sworn false statement in the 2nd degree
On 9/13/07, a Bronx man reported to the NYPD that his 2004 Mercedes Benz had been stolen and he filed a claim with Adriatic Insurance Company. The insurer issued a check for $29,000 for the loss. On the Affidavit of Theft he stated that he had last seen the car on 9/13/07 at 1:30 a.m. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division revealed that the FDNY had found the car burning at 11:44 p.m. on 9/12/07. The suspect had actually arranged for the car to be set afire in order to collect the insurance proceeds.
- FRAUDULENT CLAIM
Arrested on 10/24/07
Charged with attempted grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees, insurance fraud in the 3rd and 4th degrees, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and falsely reporting an incident
The defendant in this case reported to the NYPD on 9/17/07 that her 2001 Chrysler Neon was stolen from a parking space in front of her home in the Bronx. She filed a claim with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company stating that she had last seen her car on 9/16/07 at 10:00 p.m. and found it gone on 917/07 at 7:40 a.m. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau revealed that the FDNY had extinguished a vehicle fire at another location in the Bronx on 9/16/07 at 9:08 p.m. That vehicle was recovered by the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division at 1:30 p.m. on 9/17/07 and was found to be the same vehicle reported stolen by the defendant. Evidence indicated that she had arranged to have her car destroyed by fire in order to collect the insurance settlement. On 10/24/07, she was arrested and charged.
- WRONG ADDRESS
Arrested on 10/21/07
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
An owner/operator of two upstate businesses insured the vehicles associated with those businesses using an address in North Branch, NY, a rural community in Sullivan County that was his residence. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police revealed that the vehicles in question were actually located and operated in Brooklyn, NY, where auto insurance rates are significantly higher than in the upstate area. As a result of his action, he paid Harleysville Insurance Company $25,000 less in premiums than was warranted in the Brooklyn location. He was arrested and accused of commercial rate evasion.
- ELEVEN CHARGED
Arrested on 10/19/07
Charged with grand larceny in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degrees, insurance fraud in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th degrees, falsifying business records in the 1st degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree and violations of the Workers’ Compensation Law
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Queens DA’s Office, the State Insurance Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Fraud Inspector General’s Office resulted in the arrest of 11 suspects charged with nearly $300,000 in workers’ compensation fraud. Most of the suspects allegedly were working while collecting benefits. Others presented forged Certificates of Insurance coverage or misrepresented the size of their workforce and/or payroll in order to pay less than the required premium. One defendant alone was accused of collecting nearly $88,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.
- GRAND LARCENY
Arrested on 10/15/07
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and grand larceny in the 3rd degree
A joint investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the Rochester Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit and State Farm Insurance Company’s SIU led to the arrest of a Rochester woman on charges of insurance fraud and attempted grand larceny. The suspect reported to the Rochester PD and State Farm that her 1995 BMW was stolen sometime between 6/24 and 6/25/07 and subsequently filed a claim for the loss. She also submitted written statements to the insurer that she knew contained false information regarding the loss of the car. The investigation revealed that sometime after the theft, she recovered the car herself on a local street. However, she did not notify the police or her insurer of that fact. Instead, she had it towed to a friend’s house where it was hidden in a garage in an effort to collect almost $9,300 in insurance proceeds.
- NO COVERAGE
Arrested on 10/4/07
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, perjury in the 1st degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
The defendant in this case filed two claims with Travelers Insurance Company. The first was for a fire that occurred in her apartment on 4/9/07. In support of the claim, she included a list of items purportedly damaged in the fire. The second claim was for a garage that collapsed on 3/2/07. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Cobleskill Police Department, the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and the Schoharie County Fire Investigation Unit uncovered evidence that the list of items purportedly damaged in the fire was bogus. Moreover, it was discovered that she did not have coverage at the time of the garage collapse. So after the event, she obtained coverage and falsified the actual date of the collapse.