Arrests and Convictions: First Quarter, 2000
Arrests resulting from Frauds Bureau investigations
in the first quarter of 2002 totaled 281, more than double the total
for the same period in 2001. The Frauds Bureau posted 178 arrests
during the first three months of 2000.
Several successful sweeps contributed to the significant
number of arrests during the January–March 2002 period. Twenty
suspects were arrested in January and accused of staging accidents,
filing fake accident reports, and submitting phony medical bills.
The Frauds Bureau conducted the investigation jointly with the Attorney
Generals newly established Auto Insurance Fraud Unit and the
NYPD. In March, 30 individuals, including 24 car owners and six alleged
middlemen, were charged in a $1.6 million undercover sting operation
that resulted in the recovery of 68 reportedly stolen cars. According
to the charges, the owners turned over their cars to middlemen, filed
insurance claims falsely reporting them stolen and received settlements
of as much as $32,000. The middlemen allegedly sold the cars to undercover
detectives posing as junkyard dealers.
The number of criminal convictions obtained by prosecutors in Frauds Bureau
cases reached 105 for the January–March 2002 period, compared with 37 and 89, respectively,
for the same period in the two prior years.
The Frauds Bureau received more than 6,300 reports of suspected insurance
fraud during the first three months of 2002, down from nearly 9,600 for the same period
a year ago and almost 6,800 in 2000. The Bureau has averaged more than 20,000 reports
received annually since 1995, hitting an all time high of 26,028 in 2001.