New York State
INSURANCE FRAUD ARRESTS UP 140% DURING PATAKI ADMINISTRATION
New York, February 2, 1998
Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today announced that the number of insurance fraud arrests has increased 140% during the first three years of Governor Patakis Administration. In addition, the 276 arrests by the Insurance Departments Frauds Bureau in 1997 is a 79% increase over 1996. These statistics are among the highlights of the stepped up efforts by the Administration to fight insurance fraud.
"This significant increase in criminal prosecutions is due to the strong support the Department receives from the Governor and the Legislature which has enabled us to hire more investigators, to establish new units focusing on specific types of insurance fraud, and to strengthen our fraud fighting relationships with insurers, law enforcement personnel and prosecutors," said Superintendent Levin.
These statistics were released as part of the Insurance Frauds Bureau 1997 Annual Report to the Governor and Legislature. During the course of 1997 two new investigative units, Workers Compensation and Organized Fraud, were established within the Insurance Frauds Bureau. The Workers Compensation Unit was mandated by the comprehensive workers compensation reform legislation the Governor enacted in 1996.
In 1997 there were 37 arrests for workers compensation fraud. Over $900,000 was saved by insurance companies and over $1.2 million in court order restitution was imposed with respect to workers compensation cases investigated by the Bureau. The Organized Fraud Unit will concentrate on organized rings engaged in systematic and ongoing claims fraud. Organized fraud rings are responsible for a significant portion of insurance fraud, especially in the area of no-fault automobile insurance.
Also significant to the Departments fraud fighting operations in 1997 was the establishment of a Long Island regional office. Approximately one-third of all reports of suspected insurance fraud the Department receives comes from Long Island.
A copy of the Insurance Frauds Bureaus report is available by writing: Publications Unit, NY State Insurance Dept., Agency Building No. 1, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12257.