Arrests for November 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
A Rochester man was sentenced to five years probation in Monroe County Court on 11/26/07 for trying to fraudulently obtain a $10,282 insurance settlement. He pleaded guilty on 9/17/07, admitting that he falsely reported to GEICO Insurance Company that his sport utility vehicle had been stolen from a local street. The suspect was arrested by Rochester Police after an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Rochester Police Department’s Auto Theft Unit, with the assistance of GEICO’S SIU. Authorities recovered the vehicle in the parking lot of a Jacksonville, FL, apartment complex two months after he had reported it stolen. An examination of the car turned up MapQuest directions from his home to the Jacksonville site printed nine days before the reported theft, as well as paperwork describing airline transportation from Jacksonville to Rochester. The suspect confessed to filing the fraudulent claim when confronted with the evidence.
- BROKER PLEADS GUILTY
A former Glens Falls insurance broker pleaded guilty to felony insurance fraud after admitting she victimized 36 families, her employer and 18 insurers by stealing $9,576 in insurance premiums. Under a plea agreement, she will be responsible for making complete restitution. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Saratoga County DA’s Office and the DMV led to her arrest. The investigation was initiated when the agency at which the broker was employed reported to police that it had received numerous complaints from customers who said their auto insurance policies had been cancelled even though they had paid their premiums.
- ABANDONED CAR
Arrested on 11/23, 11/16 and 11/14/07
Chargedwith insurance fraud and falsifying business records
Four suspects were arrested following a joint investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police in Batavia, NY, with the assistance of Allstate Insurance Company. The owner of a 1995 Dodge Intrepid and three co-conspirators allegedly vandalized and abandoned the car in a Genesee County field so they could split the proceeds from an insurance claim. The investigation was initiated after the car was found and police questioned the owner who provided a full confession. She was arrested on 11/14/07. The other three suspects subsequently also confessed to participating in the fraud. Two were arrested on 11/16/07 and the fourth on 11/23/07.
- UNDERAGE DRIVER
Arrested on 11/21/07
Chargedwith offering a false instrument for filing in the 2nd degree, falsely reporting an incident and endangering the welfare of a child
A service station worker was involved in an auto accident on 10/6/07 and reported to the police that he was alone in the car at the time. However, evidence at the scene indicated the possibility that others were in the car as well. During a joint investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the North Tonawanda Police Department and GMAC Insurance Company’s SIU, investigators learned that four people were in the car when the accident occurred – the suspect, his 15-year-old sister and two other juvenile girls. The three youngsters ran from the scene and hid in the nearby home of the suspect’s father. Two of the youngsters were treated at a local hospital later that day. Then, accompanied by their parents, they provided statements saying that the suspect’s 15-year-old sister was actually driving the car at the time of the accident.
- NO INSURANCE IN PLACE
Arrested on 11/19/07
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
The defendant in this case filed an $8,725 claim with Progressive Insurance Company stating that his unattended vehicle rolled out of gear and into a stream of water, submerging the engine and causing a total loss. An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police uncovered evidence that the defendant had no coverage for the loss at the time of the occurrence. He subsequently purchased proper coverage and fraudulently reported that the loss had occurred after the coverage was in place.
- BOYFRIEND’S NO HUSBAND
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 5th degree
On 6/11/07 while employed at Excellus Health Plan, this suspect submitted an application for health insurance listing her boyfriend as her legal spouse. Excellus received two anonymous tips reporting that the suspect was not legally married to the man whom she named as her husband on the application. An investigation was initiated by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police and during an interview, the suspect voluntarily stated that she was not married to that man. In fact, she admitted being married to another man altogether.
- ARSON FIRES
Chargedwith three counts of arson on the 4th degree
The defendant in this case lived in one side of a two-family house with her mother, step-father and siblings. The other side of the house was occupied by another family. The neighboring family believed that the defendant had burglarized their home and confronted her about it. The neighbors also informed her step-father and her biological father about their suspicions. The two men searched her room, retrieved the stolen items and returned them to the neighbors. The defendant was accused of setting a fire in the home she shared with her family in retaliation. She was also accused of setting several fires at other locations in the neighborhood. On 11/1/07, she confessed to intentionally setting three fires while trying to make them look like electrical fires. Her arrest was the result of an investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau, the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department and the Ontario County DA’s Office.
- ALTERED RECEIPT
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, forgery in the 2nd degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police resulted in the arrest of an upstate mechanic for filing a fraudulent insurance claim. The suspect’s camper was destroyed by fire and he submitted a claim for $12,000 to Progressive Insurance Company. However, the investigation revealed that, in support of the claim, he included a receipt for the purchase of the camper on which he allegedly forged the name of the prior owner and increased the monetary value of the camper in order to collect a greater insurance settlement than he was entitled to receive.
- THREE STRIKES, YOU’RE OUT
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 3rd and 4th degrees and attempted grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau, AIG Insurance Company and Esurance revealed the following facts in this case. The defendant was paid $1,598 by GEICO Insurance Company in April 2007 for damage to his 1998 Ford following a hit-and-run accident. After receiving the settlement, he cancelled the GEICO policy and purchased a new policy from Esurance. He filed a second claim for $3,102 for the same accident. Esurance denied the claim and cancelled the policy. He then purchased a policy from AIG and filed a $1,493 claim, again for the same accident. The investigation was initiated after an insurance adjustor working for both Esurance and AIG reported that he had been asked to inspect the same car on claims filed with both companies.
- DEBRIS REMOVAL
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department led to the arrest of two suspects charged with insurance fraud and falsifying business records. Suspect #1 submitted a claim for $16,250 to Liberty Mutual Insurance Company following a fire that destroyed his home on 2/28/06. In support of the claim, he included an invoice, signed by suspect #2, the owner of an excavating business, for removal to a landfill of debris related to the fire. However, the investigation revealed that no removal to a landfill had taken place. In fact, the debris was moved to the location of private property owned by suspect #2 and the claim was in fact fraudulent.
- HIGH MAINTENANCE
Chargedwith grand larceny in the 2nd degree, insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, criminal possession of stolen property in the 3rd degree, falsifying business records in the 1st degree, illegal possession of a vehicle identification number, conspiracy in the 5th degree and criminal facilitation in the 4th degree
The owner of a Queens limousine service and two chop-shop owners were arrested in September 2007 for their participation in an auto-theft ring. Thirteen others have also been charged, the most recent on 11/6/07, bringing to 16 the number of defendants arrested in this case. Ring members were accused of stealing private limousine-style vehicles (e.g., Lincoln Town cars, Mercedes Benzes and Ford passenger vans) which were then transported to the chop shop where they were dismantled. The parts were used to maintain the fleet owner’s vehicles. 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.
- CAUGHT ON TAPE
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 4th degree and grand larceny in the 4th degree
Two Niagara Falls men were arrested for their participation in a no-fault scheme. On 3/10/07, suspect #1, a sub-contractor, was involved in an auto accident and submitted an application to Progressive Insurance Company for no-fault benefits. The application stated that he was employed by Niagara General Contractors but was unable to work as a result of the accident. The business was owned by suspect #2 who submitted an Employer’s Wage Verification Report to Progressive stating that suspect #1 was a salaried employee earning $700 a week. The insurer hired a private detective who observed and videotaped suspect #1 working at a number of locations in Niagara County using a vehicle owned by Niagara General Contractors. In addition, both suspects were videotaped working together at one of these locations. When investigators from the Frauds Bureau and the Niagara Falls Police Department interviewed the business owner, he stated that suspect #1 was a sub-contractor for his company. However, a review of the business owner’s application with the State Insurance Fund for workers’ compensation and general liability insurance coverage reported that he had only one employee, his wife, who was the company’s secretary.
- FRAUDULENT INVOICE
Chargedwith insurance fraud in the 4th degree and falsifying business records in the 2nd degree
The defendant in this case had a tree fall on his house and he filed a homeowners claim with his insurer for the loss. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the State Police turned up evidence that an invoice he submitted in support of the claim was altered to add $1,109 to the cost of the damage to his house.