N.Y. Officials Charge 8 with Commercial Fleet Insurance Fraud

December 21, 2006

Eight people were charged have been charged with defrauding insurance companies by registering commercial motor vehicle fleets in upstate New York to avoid higher premiums in New York City, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said.

By falsely registering their vehicles in counties where insurance rates were lower, the defendants reduced their insurance premiums by a total of $1,426,863, Soares said. The bulk of those vehicles were registered at an address in East Berne, 14 miles southwest of Albany.

Those charged were: Peter Albano, 48, of Brooklyn; Richard Shavel, 44, of Monroe; Harris Thorpe, 34, of the Bronx; Petar Bojilov, 30, of the Bronx; Roben Allonce, 46, of Brooklyn; Zeev Lichtick, 53, of Brooklyn; Roman Ashurov, 35, of Brooklyn; and Winston McLean, 59 of Rosedale.

They face multiple counts of insurance fraud in the second and third degrees and Offering a False Instrument in the first Degree, all felonies.

The district attorney’s office worked with numerous agencies, including the state Insurance Department and New York City police, in its investigation.

“Aggressive fraud prosecution has helped New Yorkers save half a billion dollars in insurance premiums this year,” Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills said. “The department will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to fight fraud and protect honest New Yorkers.”

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