Arrests for February 2010
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
Lakisha Cribb of Rochester was sentenced on 2/17/10 to five years’ probation, ten work weekends in jail and restitution of $500. She admitted reporting to police that her Dodge Stratus had been stolen after she burned the car in an effort to collect a $12,700 insurance payment. Cribb’s arrest was the result of an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Rochester Police Department. She pleaded guilty on 12/8/09 to third degree insurance fraud. No payout was made on the claim.
- REPOSSESSION, NOT RELOCATION
Arrested on 2/26/10
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree, insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree and making a punishable false written statement
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Otsego County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division led to the arrest of an upstate woman and her boyfriend. The woman reported to the Sheriff’s Office that a $3,000 Massey Ferguson farm tractor was missing when creditors came looking for it. She subsequently provided a written statement reporting that the tractor had been stolen and filed a homeowners claim for the loss. However, in an unrelated case, investigators found evidence that the tractor was in a garage at an upstate farm. The couple was interviewed at their home and at the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation revealed that the couple had relocated the tractor to the upstate garage and never notified the credit company. The woman, evidence indicated, was behind on her loan payments and the credit company was seeking to repossess the tractor. The woman’s boyfriend was charged with insurance fraud for his part in the scheme. The Frauds Bureau, the Sheriff’s Office and the Otsego County DA’s Office executed a search warrant and recovered the tractor.
- HE’S NO DOC
Arrested on 2/23/10
Charged with criminal impersonation in the 1st degree
A no-fault fraud investigation conducted by the State Police with the assistance of the Frauds Bureau resulted in the arrest of a suspect charged with falsely representing himself as a doctor and telephoning a prescription for pain medication into a local Wal-Mart pharmacy. When he attempted to have the prescription filled, the pharmacy contacted the State Police. At his arrest, the suspect admitted to impersonating the doctor. The prescription was not filled.
- NOT A BEST BUY
Arrested on 2/23/10
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 Insurance Company that several items of electronic equipment valued at $1,920 were stolen from his car. In support of his claim, he submitted receipts for the equipment as proof of purchase at a local Best Buy. However, store records showed that the items reported stolen were not purchased at the particular Best Buy location at which the defendant claimed to have bought them. His arrest was the result of an investigation by the Frauds Bureau.
- MECHANIC AT WORK
Arrested on 2/23/10
Charged with falsifying business records in the 1st degree and violation of Section 114.00 of the Workers’ Compensation Law
An investigation by the Frauds Bureau led to the arrest of an upstate auto mechanic who submitted documents to the State Insurance Fund stating that he was not working. However, investigators uncovered evidence that he was employed in the very same capacity he reported being unable to perform. As a result, he collected approximately $7,000 to which he was not entitled.
- FALLEN BEHIND
Arrested on 2/22/10
Charged with arson in the 3rd degree and insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
A Schoharie County woman was accused of fraudulently reporting that her 2005 Ford Taurus had been stolen, wrecked and burned. She made the allegedly false report after she fell behind in loan payments on the car, which was having mechanical problems. Erie Insurance Company paid off the loan, estimated to be $10,000. Investigators from the Frauds Bureau subsequently learned that the car had never been stolen and the suspect intentionally burned it. The New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control-Arson Bureau and the State Police assisted the Frauds Bureau in this investigation.
- CAUGHT WITH THE GOODS
Arrested on 2/18/10
Charged with criminal possession of stolen property in the 4th degree
As a result of an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County Police Department’s Auto Squad, a Long Island man was arrested and charged with criminal possession of stolen property. Evidence gathered during the investigation revealed that on 1/14/10, the defendant was in possession of stolen parts from a local auto parts shop. The stolen property was valued at $2,775.
- ONCE A SANITATION ENGINEER . . . .
Arrested on 2/12/10
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and violation of Section 114-1 of the Workers’ Compensation Law
Following a work-related injury sustained in January 2001, the defendant in this case began collecting workers’ compensation benefits. During the benefit period, he submitted Work Activity Reports to his insurer stating that he was unable to perform his previous duties as a sanitation engineer at a local garbage collection company. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Fraud Inspector General and the State Police revealed that over a five-year period from 2005 to 2009, he fraudulently collected $43,410 in benefits while fully employed at his previous occupation.
- HAIL OR NO HAIL
Arrested on 2/10/10
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree and attempted grand larceny in the 4th degree
On 10/2/09, the suspect in this case submitted a claim to GEICO Insurance Company for an estimated $2,217 in hail damage to his 1999 Chevy Cavalier. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau, the Cheektowaga Police Department and GEICO’s SIU found evidence that the date of loss reported on the GEICO claim was falsified. In fact, Allstate Insurance Company had paid an identical claim to a different owner in 2008. The previous owner had traded in the car without getting the damage repaired.
- UNABLE TO FINANCE
Arrested on 2/9/10
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree
A Little Falls, NY, firefighter filed an allegedly fraudulent claim, reporting to Allstate Insurance Company that heavy rains caused the collapse of a stone wall in front of his home. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau revealed that the defendant had a contractor replace an existing wall with a new one before filing the insurance claim. When he was turned down for a loan to finance the project, he filed the claim so he could pay the contractor.
- EXPIRED AGENT STEALS PREMIUMS
Arrested on 2/8/10
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree
Complaints made by two property owners prompted an investigation by the Insurance Department’s Frauds and Consumer Services Bureaus that led to the arrest of a former licensed insurance agent who was accused of stealing $15,400 in premiums. The defendant allegedly collected premiums from property owners in 2008 and 2009 but failed to remit them to an insurer. The policies were subsequently cancelled. One of the property owners lost $25,000 as a result of damage that occurred to the roof of a commercial structure that he paid the agent to insure. The agent’s license to sell insurance expired in 2008 when he failed to renew it.
- NONEXISTENT COVERAGE
Arrested on 2/4/10
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd and 4th degrees and violation of the Workers’ Compensation Law
A Suffolk County business owner was arrested for allegedly stealing $50,000 from his employees. The money was purportedly for the purchase of workers’ compensation insurance. However, an investigation by the Frauds Bureau and the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Fraud Inspector General uncovered evidence that the money was never turned over to an insurer and no coverage for the employees existed.
- RIM REAPERS
Arrested on 2/3/10
Charged with grand larceny, attempted grand larceny, insurance fraud, criminal mischief, possession of burglar’s tools, criminal possession of stolen property, assault and conspiracy
Following a seven-month investigation conducted by the Frauds Bureau and the Suffolk County DA’s Office, five defendants were charged with 300 thefts of luxury auto wheel rims and tires from cars parked in residential driveways and auto dealership lots across Suffolk County. Investigators executed 11 search warrants and recovered 65 rims. The crew members would allegedly steal a van and strip it of its seats to make room for the rims and wheels they had targeted for the night’s activities. They divided the stolen good among themselves for resale. The cost of the thefts and damage to the affected businesses and vehicles is estimated at more than $250,000.