Arrests for July 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 1-888-372-8369
- CONVICTIONS REINSTATED
On 7/25/12, a federal appeals court reinstated arson and insurance fraud convictions against Jeffrey Truman Sr. in a case involving a fire that destroyed his commercial building on 11/12/2006. The loss was listed at $8 million. Truman was convicted by a federal grand jury in 2010 but the convictions were overturned after the trial by a U.S. District judge who cited insufficient evidence and prosecutorial misconduct. However, a three-judge panel on the 2nd Circuit disagreed and sent the case back to the U.S. District judge for sentencing. Jeffrey Truman Jr. testified at his father’s trial that Truman Sr. had ordered him to set the fire and provided him the means to do it. He pleaded guilty to setting the fire and served two years in prison. That trial ended when a Madison County Court judge dismissed the charges because of insufficient evidence. In the federal trial, Truman Jr. refused to answer some questions about his father’s involvement. The appeals court ruled that even without Truman Jr.’s testimony, the prosecution presented enough evidence to prove his father’s guilt. This case was investigated by the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the Oneida City Police and Fire Departments, the Madison County DA’s Office, the Madison County Multi-Agency Task Force, the State Police, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
Arrested on 7/27/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, falsifying business records in the 2nd degree and conspiracy in the 5th degree
A Clinton County resident had been receiving disability benefits from Unum Insurance Company for a work-related injury. She submitted work activity forms to Unum stating she had not returned to work when in fact an investigation revealed that she had failed to notify Unum that she was working at the Beekmantown, N.Y., VFW. The former VFW Post Commander issued her paychecks in her husband’s name to hide the fact that she collected $8,524 in benefits to which she was not entitled. The subject’s husband, who allegedly received and cashed the checks, and the former VFW Commander were also arrested for their involvement in hiding the subject’s return to work. A fourth suspect, the VFW bookkeeper, is scheduled to be arraigned at a later date. The arrests were the result of an investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau with the assistance of the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Fraud Inspector General.
- 33 CHARGED IN CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE
Arrested on 7/26/12
Charged with enterprise corruption and related crimes
Thirty three defendants were indicted following an investigation into a criminal enterprise that stole and sold motorcycles in New York City to local and international dealers, and trafficked in illegal firearms in the underground market. Twenty-eight defendants were charged with enterprise corruption under New York State’s Organized Crime Control Act for their roles in the theft and resale of 63 motorcycles with an estimated value of close to $500,000, and the possession and sale of 15 firearms. The indictments are the result of a 17-month investigation that used a variety of law enforcement techniques, including undercover purchases by NYPD undercover officers, visual surveillance and court-ordered electronic eavesdropping. The investigation was conducted jointly by the Manhattan DA’s Office, the Joint Firearms Task Force comprising the NYPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the New York Anti-Car Theft and Fraud Association and the Lojack Corporation.
- PRE-EXISTING DAMAGE
Arrested on 7/25/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
The suspect in this case filed a claim with Erie Insurance Company for damage to his motorcycle purportedly sustained in an accident. However, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau revealed that the damage was pre-existing. Erie paid out $3,450 on the claim.
- FRAUDULENT THEFT AFFIDAVIT
Arrested on 7/23/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree
An investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau resulted in the arrest of a Kingston, N.Y., man for attempting to defraud Progressive Insurance Company. On 4/26/11, he reported to the insurer that his 1996 Suzuki motorcycle had been stolen and filed a $1,876 claim for the loss. However, investigators discovered that the motorcycle had not been stolen and the affidavit of theft he submitted to the insurer was fraudulent. The claim was not paid.
- NO CLIENTS, NO WAGES
Arrested on 7/17/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 4th degree
The defendant in this case was involved in an auto accident on 2/24/12 and filed a claim with GEICO Insurance Company for the damage. He reported a minor head injury at the time of the loss. On 3/21/12, he submitted a Notice of Proof of Loss Statement with two invoices claiming lost wages in the amount of $2,000. He reported that he is a self-employed consultant and missed ten hours of work for two clients due to headaches as a result of the head injury. On 4/19/12, a witness contacted the Insurance Frauds Bureau to report that the consultant had used her name and personal information on an insurance claim and, further, he had asked her to lie to the insurance company in exchange for $100. She refused. Her boyfriend was a witness to this conversation and provided a written statement to investigators. On 5/17/12, investigators interviewed the second purported client of the defendant who stated that the defendant had not done any work for her but she declined to give a written statement. On 6/19/12, investigators interviewed the defendant who admitted submitting the claim and preparing and submitting the invoices claiming he had missed ten hours of work. However, he could not provide any contracts, agreements or any other documentation to show that he was working for either of the two purported clients. An investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the Rochester Police Department led to his arrest.
- SAME DAMAGE, SEPARATE CLAIMS
Arrested on 7/16/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and falsifying business records in the 1st degree
An upstate resident filed a claim with Farmers Insurance Company for damage to his 2002 Cadillac Deville and was issued a check for the repairs. However, an investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the Town of Geddes Police Department revealed that he subsequently filed claims with Safeco Insurance Company in which he reported the same damage for which he had been reimbursed by Farmers as if it was fresh, new damage each time. As a result of the fraud, he fraudulently collected $16,310 in insurance payments from Safeco.
- NO BENEFITS DUE
Arrested on 7/6/12
Charged with workers’ compensation fraud
Following a work-related injury, an upstate man began collecting workers’ compensation benefits. However, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the Workers’ Compensation Board’s Office of the Fraud Inspector General revealed that the defendant was working while fraudulently collecting the benefits, thereby defrauding the State Insurance Fund of $2,244.
- STING VEHICLE HITS TARGET
Arrested on 7/6/12
Charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree
A long-term investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the State Police Auto Theft Unit and the Westchester County DA’s Office resulted in the arrest of the owner of a “target” auto body shop in Bedford, N.Y. Investigators placed a sting vehicle in the defendant’s shop for repairs. Evidence uncovered during the investigation indicated that the damage to the vehicle was enhanced by $10,000.