New York’s 9 Worst Insurance Fraudsters of 2018

January 4, 2019

A medical ring steals $279 million in false whiplash claims. A man burns down his house for insurance because the place had code violations. A woman hires a hitman to murder her own mother for $30,000 of life-insurance money.

They’re among the 9 most-brazen insurance fraudsters of New York for 2018. Welcome to the Insurance Fraud Legion of Shame. The year’s convicted extreme schemers were chosen by the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud.

Insurance scams steal hundreds of millions of dollars in New York annually. All New Yorkers pay for fraud. Automobile schemes, for example, help raise premiums that honest drivers pay. The Legion of Shame draws public attention to the need for more New Yorkers to unite against insurance crime. Report fraud by calling toll free 1-844-FRAUDNY.

Driven to deceive. Michael Danilovich (NYC) masterminded a massive fraud ring that stole $279 million in false injury claims from bogus and setup car wrecks. It was one of the largest such crimes in U.S. history.

Burning desire. Samuel Crawford (Canandaigua) burned down his vacant rental home because he was having problems leasing it due to code violations. Two adjacent homes also were damaged.

Fiery fraud. Jesus Cruz (Newburgh) burned down his store after inspectors cut off power due to code violations. Cruz lit up gasoline he spread around the main floor and basement.

Medical madness. Dr. Gregory B. Shankman (Utica office) billed for giving workers-compensation exams on fully 150 days he was traveling elsewhere in New York — and even vacationing in Iceland.

Wound madness. Dr. Syed Imran Ahmed (Long Island) billed Medicare $85 million for wound treatments he never performed. That included 600 surgeries for one elderly woman.

Unsober sober homes. Yury Baumblit ran unsafe flophouses that housed homeless people and addicts in the New York City area. He pushed many residents into unneeded drug rehab, forced some to take drugs, and evicted anyone who didn’t cooperate.

Commercial con. Jean Davilmar (Brooklyn) falsely insured more than 100 high-risk commercial vehicles with fake companies. He lied that they did safe work such as delivering packages, and supporting flower businesses and landscapers.

Compounding the fraud. Bus driver Enver Kalaba helped fellow employees of the New York City MTA file millions of dollars in false claims for medically worthless compound scar and pain creams — billed to the MTA’s health program.

Murder for life. Jasmine Harlee (Ontario) hired a hitman to smother her mother with a pillow for $30,000 of life insurance money.

The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud consists of more than 100 insurance companies that help to educate the public about the severity of fraud in the Empire State.

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