Fraud Reportedly Spreading to N.Y. Suburbs

August 13, 2003

Insurance fraud rings long-established in New York City are now reportedly targeting the suburbs for their scams as the fraud indictments announced this week by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office vividly demonstrate, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The NICB launched the initial investigation acting on information from one of its member insurance companies which alerted the insurance industry’s crime-fighting organization to a series of suspicious auto accident injury claims in Suffolk County – all of which involved drivers from Brooklyn, according to Robert Bryant, president and CEO of NICB.

The NICB is a member of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Insurance Crime Unit, a multi-jurisdictional task force which also includes local and state law enforcement agencies and the New York State Department of Insurance.

Using new computer technology and sophisticated databases to review the medical bills generated by the Suffolk County accident claimants, the NICB identified numerous Brooklyn-based medical facilities, physicians, therapists, acupuncturists, transport companies and equipment suppliers.

“Each of the medical providers was under suspicion for fraudulent practices by NICB’s New York Medical Fraud Task Force,” said Bryant. NICB assembled a detailed chart which outlined the inter-locking relationships between medical providers, billing agents and others involved in the scams.

“The NICB alerted the Suffolk County Task Force with its findings, uncovering evidence of a scheme to defraud injuries by submitting fraudulent bills for treatment of bogus injuries,” added Bryant.

He pointed out that this week’s indictments are only the beginning of many more to come as the NICB and its member companies uncover more patterns of fraud involving organized insurance criminals in Suffolk County and work collaboratively with the District Attorney’s Office.

“Organized insurance crime is no longer simply a New York City phenomenon,” continued Bryant. “Insurance criminals are seeking to loot New York’s auto insurance system wherever they can. The result is higher insurance premiums for all. I want to commend Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota for his vision in creating the Insurance Crime Unit in his office. He understands the costs associated with insurance crime and the need to combat it through the cooperative efforts of law enforcement and the insurance industry. I also want to recognize the outstanding contributions of the New York State Department of Insurance and its Superintendent, Greg Serio, in this ongoing effort.”

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