Arrests for March 2012
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 1-800-342-3736
On 3/14/12, former licensed insurance broker Julie Levin who was president and owner of two brokerages in Queens was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution. She was arrested on 11/22/10 and charged with failing to remit $606,770 in premium payments that she had received from more than 400 clients between 1/1/09 and 12/31/09. Her actions defrauded four insurance companies – Maya Assurance, American Transit, Hereford and Fiduciary Insurance Company of America – of premiums owed. In addition, she submitted 43 checks totaling $121,750 to two of the insurers in an attempt to conceal the crime. The checks were returned because of insufficient funds. She pleaded guilty to grand larceny on 11/18/11.
- MEDICAID SCAM
Arrested on 3/22/12
Charged criminal impersonation in the 1st degree
On 3/12/12, the Rochester Police Department requested the assistance of the Insurance Frauds Bureau in a case involving Medicaid fraud. In February 2012, the suspect in this case telephoned a pharmacy stating that she was a doctor and requested a prescription for Tramadol, a common pain medication. The suspect subsequently picked up the prescription and paid for it with her Medicaid card. The pharmacist later called the office of the doctor whose name the suspect had used in ordering the prescription for additional information for the Medicaid claim. The doctor informed him that she had not authorized a prescription for the suspect and in fact had never provided any medical care to her. The pharmacist reported the incident to the Rochester PD. Investigators contacted the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General for a listing of all paid prescriptions for the suspect. The listing showed a pattern of prescriptions for Tramadol and Percocet authorized by two doctors, both of whom provided statements that they had not prescribed any medications for the suspect. The pharmacist was able to identify the suspect from photos and she was called in for an interview. When questioned, she admitted misrepresenting herself as the two doctors to call in about ten prescriptions over the prior year and using her Medicaid card to pay for them.
- SOLD FOR SCRAP
Arrested on 3/22/12
Charged insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, grand larceny in the 3rd degree and falsely reporting an incident in the 3rd degree
In a case involving an owner give-up, an upstate resident reported to the Buffalo Police Department and Nationwide Insurance Company that his 2000 Honda had been stolen while parked in front of his home. However, he was charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny and related crimes when investigators learned that he had sold the car to a scrap yard for $350. He subsequently filed a claim for the loss and received a check for $3,825 from his insurer. When interviewed, he admitted that he could no longer afford the upkeep of the car and knew he would get a better deal from a total-loss payout than by selling it privately.
- CASE CLOSED
Arrested on 3/15/12
Charged offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree
In a follow-up to a November 2011 workers’ compensation fraud sweep in ten upstate counties, two suspects were arrested on 3/15/12, bringing the total number of arrests in this case to 21. The two most recent suspects allegedly submitted false reports regarding an incident involving a co-worker arrested in the November sweep. The previously arrested suspect, a teacher aide, claimed she broke her ankle on the job when the accident actually occurred at her home. The Incident Report stating that the injury happened at work was completed and signed by the suspects arrested on 3/15/12. The arrests were the result of an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Fraud Inspector General with the assistance of the State Insurance Fund.
- MEDICAID PAYS TWICE FOR “FREE” TRANSPORT
Arrested on 3/8-10/12
Charged grand larceny in the 4th degree
Two defendants were charged with grand larceny in separate but almost identical cases. In the first case, the defendant received checks from Medicaid to cover her personal expenses for travel to and from her dialysis treatment between 2/15/10 and 4/1/11. However, investigators learned that she was transported to and from her treatment by Apple Transport which contracts with Medicaid to transport Medicaid recipients to and from medical appointments and then submits an invoice to Medicaid for its fees. Apple Transport was subsequently reimbursed for the dates of service for which the defendant claimed she paid for her transportation. She was arrested on 3/8/12 for fraudulently receiving and cashing checks totaling $2,520 from Medicaid. When interviewed, the defendant admitted that she had used Apple Transport and had not incurred any out-of-pocket expenses. The defendant in the second case allegedly committed the same type of fraud between 11/20/09 and 3/16/11 and she, too, admitted during an interview that she had used the services of Apple Transport for her transportation. She was arrested on 3/10/12 for fraudulently receiving and cashing Medicaid checks in the amount of $2,910. These cases were referred to the Insurance Frauds Bureau by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
- DRUG DIVERSION
Arrested on 3/8/12
Charged criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 3rd degree
An investigation by the Albany-based Drug Enforcement Administration Tactical Diversion Task Force, of which the Insurance Frauds Bureau is a member, led to the arrest of a suspect charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. The Task Force investigates organized drug diversion schemes, “doctor shopping” and forgery of controlled substance prescriptions.
- STAGED ACCIDENT RING
Arrested on 3/6/12
Charged insurance fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records and misdemeanor conspiracy charges
Sixteen suspects were arrested for their roles in staging auto accidents to fraudulently collect insurance payouts. They allegedly conspired to create nine staged accidents in Brooklyn from September 2009 to May 2011. In some instances, one group of defendants drove or were passengers in U-Haul trucks they rented, while another group of defendants agreed to hail a livery cab, driven by an unsuspecting driver, which the U-Haul driver would then crash into. In another type of staged accident, the defendants pretended to be pedestrians struck by other defendants or by vehicles driven by unsuspecting drivers. All told, the defendants collected $400,000 in insurance payouts as a result of fraudulent claims submitted to insurers. Most of the defendants allegedly agreed to participate in the accidents in exchange for money up-front and the promise of a bodily injury lawsuit settlement after they were treated at a medical clinic. Subsequently, some also received money from the lawsuit settlements.
- OWNER-ENHANCED DAMAGES
Arrested on 3/6/12
Charged insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, grand larceny in the 3rd degree and offering a false instrument for filing
An investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Bureau led to the arrest of a defendant who was involved in a fender bender and at the scene offered to settle the matter with the other driver for $500. However, the other driver declined, stating that he wanted his insurance carrier to handle it. The police were called to the scene and listed the damage as minor on the Accident Report. The defendant subsequently took her car to a body shop for inspection and the damage was estimated at $4,000.
- CHECK-CASHING SCHEME
Arrested on 3/5-14/12
Charged criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree
Eleven defendants were arrested – six on 3/5/12, one on 3/9/12, two on 3/13/12 and two on 3/14/12 – following the investigation into a check-cashing, counterfeiting scheme at a Schenectady location of a super market chain operating in upstate New York. This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Schenectady Police Department and the Secret Service with the assistance of the Insurance Frauds Bureau.
- DAMAGE NO ACCIDENT
Arrested on 3/5/12
Charged insurance fraud, grand larceny and scheme to defraud in the 2nd degree
A Yonkers woman charged in this case when an investigation revealed that over a two-three year period, she filed eight claims with four different insurers for the same damage she had deliberately caused to her Mercedes Benz. Two of these claims were submitted to two different insurers on the same day. She was paid a total of $3,780 on the eight claims. The Insurance Frauds Bureau, the Yonkers Police Department and the State Police conducted the investigation that led to her arrest.
- PRIOR SUPPLEMENTS
- NO REPLACEMENT
Arrested on 2/28/12
Charged grand larceny in the 4th degree
An investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau resulted in the arrest of the office manager at an upstate auto body shop. Evidence indicated that a customer brought his car into the shop for collision damage repair and the defendant billed him in the amount of $2,306 for the work. However, investigators learned that the customer was charged for replacement of certain parts when, in fact, those parts were not replaced.
- WORKERS NOT COVERED
Arrested on 2/27/12
Charged violation of Section 52-1(a) of the Workers’ Compensation Law
The sole owner of an upstate tree service business employed more than five workers. However, he was accused of failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage for these workers as required by New York State Law. His arrest was the result of an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau.
- OWNER GIVE-UP
Arrested on 2/24/12
Charged insurance fraud in the 5th degree and falsifying business records in the 2nd degree
In a case involving owner give-up, a Nassau County man reported to the NYPD and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company on 8/10/11 that his 2000 Volkswagen Jetta had been stolen and filed a claim for the loss. However, an investigation uncovered evidence indicating that on 8/8/11, he had given the vehicle to a tow truck driver to be used for salvage. The defendant withdrew the claim and no payment was made. His arrest was the result of an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division.