Insurance Fraud Hall of Fame Welcomes Newest Members

December 18, 2003

The nation’s top convicted insurance swindlers of 2003 were elected to the Insurance Fraud Hall of Fame by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud ( The scheme team was dishonored for insurance cons that were reportedly exceptionally large, brazen, tragic or vicious.

“Insurance fraud is one of America’s largest white-collar crimes – $80
billion in bogus claims annually. This year’s Hall of Shame inductees reflect the growing size and violence of many insurance schemes nationally,” said Dennis Jay, the coalition’s executive director.

Insurance swindles raise insurance premiums, increase the price of goods and services, cost some victims their life savings, and cause injuries and death, according to Jay.

The new inductees are:

Healers or stealers? – James Lee Graff reportedly sold fake health insurance to 32,000 small business owners. Damage: $42 million in stolen premiums and unpaid medical bills – part of a national trend of phony group health coverage. Canyon Lake, Calif.

Seeing isn’t believing – Eye surgeon Shaul Debbi reportedly performed dozens of worthless eye operations on mentally disabled residents of adult homes to hike his insurance billings. New York City.

Spirit of stealing – Rev. Roland Gray is reported to have insisted God told him to stage nearly 200 fake car crashes, and make fake slip-and-fall injuries in stores and motels. $500,000 in bogus claims. Chicago.

Death watch – Richard Jamieson reportedly stole more than $105 million from 3,000 people who invested in illegal life insurance policies of dying people. The largest insurance fraud in Ohio history. Ottawa Hills, Ohio.

Bomb scheme blows up – Desperate for cash, it was reported that unemployed Prescott Sigmund tried to blow up his father for life insurance money. A pipe bomb in his father’s SUV blew up Sigmund’s brother instead. Washington, DC.

Spare cash? – (Arson, murder) John Veysey reportedly torched homes and killed for insurance money whenever he needed cash. Several homes burned down, and one wife died. A second wife and their infant barely escaped another house fire. A third wife was marked for murder as well, prosecutors say. Galena, Ill.

Maladjusted adjuster – Insurance claim adjuster Gaylan Sweet was reported to have invented children who “died” in phantom hit-and-run accidents. Fake police and doctor reports, grieving fake parents and phantom drunk drivers rounded out Sweet’s fantasy accidents. Even the deadly intersection was fake. San Diego area.

Fake death turns real – Two hijackers shot Sheila Wharton, husband Curtis told Haitian police. But Wharton is reported to have actually had Sheila murdered for life insurance – after she backed out of a TV-inspired scheme to fake her death. Shreveport, La.

Adjusting to arson – Finally, insurance adjuster Marc Rossi reportedly torched six buildings to steer insurance claims to his business. Rossi even bribed a fireman to let one building burn longer so Rossi would get a larger adjusting commission. Hamilton, N.J.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.