New Laws Enacted to Fight Fraud in New York

August 14, 2013

New York Governor Cuomo recently signed two bills that increase safety for the state’s drivers and passengers. It is now illegal in New York to make, distribute, sell or install counterfeit or non-functional airbags. In addition, it is now a crime to forge a vehicle identification number (VIN).

“The passage of these measures will help combat fraud,” Ellen Melchionni, president of NYIA said. “Criminal opportunists are always looking for new ways to cheat society for monetary gain. I heartily thank the legislature and Governor Cuomo for taking a stand against these fraudulent, often dangerous, acts.”

The trend of using a counterfeit or non-functioning airbag has fatal consequences. “Airbags are meant to save lives,” Melchionni said. “The installation of an airbag that is fake or has already been deployed can prove deadly. These tragic circumstances are easily avoidable if a vehicle is equipped with a proper airbag.”

Forging VINs is a common method used to mask the true identity and owner of a stolen car. “Making it a crime to forge a VIN will provide law enforcement with greater tools in tackling theft and fraud.” Melchionni said. “This legislation will help prevent honest, law-abiding New Yorkers from being the victims of theft.”

The counterfeit airbag bill is S5037B/A6378B sponsored by Sen. Zeldin and Assemblyman Dinowitz. The VIN forgery bill is S2098A/A3180A sponsored by Sen. Golden and Assemblyman Abbate. Both of these measures will take effect Nov. 1, 2013.

Source: The New York Insurance Association, Inc.

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