Arrests for March 2013
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 3/6/13, Abraham Pinkhasov of Staten Island was ordered to pay $871,846 in restitution and forfeit $52,000, which will be spread out among ten insurers. Pinkhasov was among 24 suspects arrested in October 2011 and charged with participating on billing scams that defrauded insurers, Medicare and Medicaid of millions of dollars. He was sentenced to time served, plus three years supervised release. Conditions of his supervised release include a ten-month confinement in a community confinement center or halfway house and 700 hours of community service. Pinkhasov and several other clinic managers recruited and paid corrupt medical practitioners to work at the clinics and supervised fraudulent billing to no-fault insurers for medical treatment that was not provided or was unnecessary. He also coached patients on how to describe their purported injuries if questioned by insurers. In August 2012, he pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and mail fraud. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Insurance Frauds Bureau, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, the FBI, the NYPD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- STOLEN VIN
Arrested on 3/27/13
Charged with illegal possession of a Vehicle Identification Number
The Insurance Frauds Bureau assisted the Albany County DA’s office in an investigation the led to the arrest of an upstate man who was found to be in possession of a tilt bed truck and a vehicle identification number, both stolen. The truck, built from two stolen trucks, was recovered and more arrests are expected in this case.
- FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS
Arrested on 3/19/13
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and forgery in the 2nd degree
Following an auto accident, the defendant in this case filled for lost-wage benefits under the no-fault portion of her auto insurance policy. However, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the State Police revealed that in an attempt to fraudulently collect $8,477 in benefits, she submitted two allegedly forged documents. The first, submitted on 11/13/12, was a medical record from a local clinic falsely stating that she was unable to return to work for up to six months. The second document, submitted on 11/15/13, was an altered receipt from Rochester General Hospital for payment of an MRI. During an interview, the suspect admitted to faxing the forged documents to Progressive Insurance Company in support of her claim. The investigation was initiated based on a referral by Progressive.
- HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE FRAUD
Arrested on 3/18/13
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree
An Oneida County resident filed an $11,779 homeowners insurance claim with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company for water damage to his residence. In support of the claim, he submitted a sworn proof of loss. However, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau found evidence that the water damage pre-existed the purported date of loss.
- ONE LOSS, TWO CHECKS
Arrested on 3/6/13
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree and offering a false written statement
A Nassau County woman filed a claim for damage caused by a fire at her home and Hartford Insurance Company issued a $33,596 check for the loss. The check was issued in the name of the woman’s former husband who was the policyholder. The defendant subsequently reported that she never received the check and Hartford issued a duplicate check. However, an investigation uncovered evidence indicating that in both instances, the defendant’s son, who had the same name as the former husband, endorsed the checks with the knowledge and consent of his mother and deposited the funds into his personal account. The defendant then used a debit card to withdraw the funds. The investigation was conducted by the Nassau County Police Department with the assistance of the Insurance Frauds Bureau.
- FALSE REPORT
Arrested on 3/1/13
Charged with insurance fraud in the 5th degree, grand larceny in the 4th degree, falsifying business records in the 1st degree and falsely reporting an incident in 3rd degree
The defendant in this case reported that his 2008 Honda had been stolen from a Queens street on 2/8/13 at approximately 10:00 A.M. He stated that he had last seen the car at approximately 1:20 A.M. on that same day and was in possession of all the keys for the car. However, an investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Unit revealed that the car was recovered burned by the Mount Vernon, NY, Police Department at 12:45 A.M. on 2/7/13, a full day before the defendant reported last having seen it.
- PRIOR SUPPLEMENTS February 2013
- STORED, NOT STOLEN
Arrested on 2/15/13
Charged with insurance fraud in the 3rd degree, attempted grand larceny in the 3rd degree, offering a false instrument for filing, making a false written statement and falsely reporting an incident
On 1/15/13, a Bronx man reported that his motorcycle had been stolen and that he had last seen it on 1/13/13. However, a surveillance video showed the suspect placing the motorcycle in a storage facility on 1/12/13, three days before he reported the alleged theft. An investigation by the Insurance Frauds Bureau and the NYPD’s Auto Crime Unit led to his arrest.
It should be noted that arrests and indictments are merely accusations and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.