Arrests for August 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
- GUILTY PLEAS
An investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the FBI and the IRS led to the 8/23/12 arrest of Cynthia Morgan, an upstate resident, who pleaded guilty to health care fraud and mail fraud. Her plea is part of an ongoing investigation into a staged-accident scheme involving a U-Haul truck in Utica, N.Y. She is scheduled to be sentenced on 12/21/12 and is expected to pay $211,249 in restitution to Progressive and Mutual of Omaha Insurance Companies.
William Uris of Saratoga Springs pleaded guilty on 8/17/12 to grand larceny. As part of his plea, he admitted that from February 2008 to June 2011, he schemed to defraud HealthyNY, a state-sponsored program created to provide low-cost health insurance for small businesses that cannot afford traditional health plans. All told, the state paid out $121,860 in claims to clients illegally signed up for the coverage. Uris confirmed that the businesses were qualified to obtain the HealthyNY benefits when in fact they were not, in turn making commissions on the coverage. In addition, he told the businesses that in order to obtain the coverage, they would have to join his National Business Owner’s Association for which he charged them a fee for membership. Uris could face as much as 2-to-6 years in prison, or he could get as little as six months in jail if he pays $100,000 in restitution before his sentencing date. Of the total restitution, $6,000 will be reimbursed to the businesses for the fees paid for membership in Uris’s bogus association. Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for 10/2/12. The Insurance Frauds Bureau collaborated with MVP’s Special Investigations Unit in the investigation that led to the arrest of this defendant.
- AGENT CAUGHT IN FRAUD SCHEME
Arrested on 8/30/12
Charged with grand larceny in the 2nd and 3rd degrees and scheme to defraud in the 1st degree
The former president of a Long Island insurance agency was paid more than $648,000 in insurance premiums by a commercial property management company. However, a joint investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the Nassau County DA’s Office uncovered evidence that he had failed to remit the money to any insurer, leaving the management company without coverage and facing potentially serious liability issues. He allegedly spent the money on country club memberships, luxury cars and gambling trips.
- WORKS HER BUSINESS, COLLECTS BENEFITS
Arrested on 8/30/12
Charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the 1st degree and violation of Section 114.1 of the Workers’ Compensation Law
An investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the State Insurance Fund resulted in the arrest of an upstate woman charged with workers’ compensation fraud. The investigation revealed that she continued collecting benefits while running her family’s campground business. During the benefit period, she submitted numerous Work Activity Reports to the State Fund falsely stating that she was unable to work. As a result of the fraud, she collected $3,500 in benefits to which she was not entitled.
- MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION
Arrested on 8/9/12
Charged with grand larceny in the 2nd degree and insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
An investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the State Insurance Fund and the Nassau County DA’s Office revealed that between 11/19/07 and 4/17/09, the defendant in this case underreported the gross sales and payroll of his custom-carpentry business. As a result, he defrauded the State Fund of $75,958 in premiums owed.
- FATHER, SON FACE MULTIPLE FELONY CHARGES
Arrested on 8/7/12
Charged with criminal possession of stolen property, illegal possession of a vehicle identification number, falsifying business records and related charges
A father and son were arrested following a four-month investigation conducted by the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office and the DMV with the assistance of the Insurance Frauds Bureau. The son was stopped by a Sheriff’s Deputy on 3/31/12 in Burlington, N.Y., for having an unregistered trailer on his pickup truck. A license check revealed that his driver’s license had been suspended because he had failed to answer a traffic ticket in Pittsfield, N.Y. During the stop, the Deputy noticed that the vehicle identification number (VIN) was missing from the inside driver’s door and impounded the truck. Further investigation revealed that the truck had been stolen in Florida in 2009. The son subsequently changed multiple parts on the vehicle including the VIN plate. In April 2011, the father and son registered the vehicle in Cooperstown, N.Y., obtained a false title and registration and then insured the vehicle on-line with GEICO Insurance Company. The pair was also charged with dismantling parts off the truck and selling them on-line without registering with the DMV as a vehicle dismantler. If convicted, the son faces up to 15 years in prison and the father faces 8 years.
- PRIOR SUPPLEMENTS
Tompkins County resident Matthew Wylie was arrested on 7/31/12 and pleaded guilty to attempted workers’ compensation claimant fraud. Wylie submitted statements to the State Insurance Fund reporting that he was not working when, in fact, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the State Fund found evidence that he was employed at his own restaurant. He was sentenced to a six-month Adjournment Contemplating Dismissal (ACD).
- MIDDLE MAN CHARGED
Arrested on 7/25/12
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and conspiracy in the 5th degree
As part of an NYPD sting operation, a Queens man was arrested for allegedly acting as a middle-man in a case involving an owner give-up. The defendant delivered the vehicle in question to a “sting location.” The Insurance Frauds Bureau worked closely with the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division in the investigation that led to the arrest.