N.Y. Fraud Squad Busts Queens No-fault Insurance Ring; 33 Arrested

January 16, 2004

New York’s Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio joined New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown in announcing multiple indictments charging a group of lawyers, medical doctors and other state-licensed medical professionals and others with taking part in a no-fault insurance fraud ring.

The arrests were made following a two-year undercover investigation, named “Operation Sideswipe,” conducted by the NYSID’s Fraud Bureau, the NYPD Auto Crime Division, and the Queens District Attorney’s Rackets and Organized Crime Bureau. The defendants have been variously charged with Insurance Fraud, Grand Larceny, Falsifying Business Records, Tampering with Public Records, Falsely Reporting an Incident and Conspiracy. They each face up to seven years in prison if convicted. Additionally, the attorneys have been charged with “Employing an Individual to Illegally Solicit Clients,” a violation of the Judiciary Law.

The indictments charge that the 33 defendants sought to defraud insurance carriers out of more than $236,000 by staging accidents, submitting false property damage, medical and bodily injury claims and providing baseless treatments and ordering costly and unwarranted medical tests.

“The arrests of medical practitioners and lawyers are particularly egregious because these individuals are entrusted by society to care for fellow New Yorkers and uphold the law,” Serio stated. “Rather than using their licenses for good, they use them to steal from honest insurance paying consumers by defrauding the insurance system. It is through these aggressive collaborative efforts with the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office that we are sending a clear message that there is no profit in insurance fraud, only prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

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