Fraud News: Stolen Autos Scam, Medical Supply Fraud, Staged Crash Arrests

January 7, 2019

LoJack Signal on Reported Stolen Car Reveals Organized Insurance Fraud Ring

Detectives from the California Department of Insurance, arrested four people early this morning for allegedly ripping off four auto insurers for more than $34,000 by filing fraudulent insurance claims. One additional suspect was taken into custody Thursday, November 15, 2018. All suspects were booked into the Sacramento County Jail.

Investigated by the Urban Auto Fraud Task Force, which is supervised and led by the California Department of Insurance Enforcement Branch and includes the California Highway Patrol and Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, which will prosecute the suspects, the case involves suspects attempting to collect from their auto insurer by falsely claiming their vehicles were stolen when in fact were found in the possession of an accomplice who owned an auto body repair shop.

“Our multi-agency task force has proven very effective in investigating and prosecuting organized insurance crime rings,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “These crimes hurt every consumer, because in the end we all pay for these crimes through higher insurance premiums.”

The seventh suspect and ring leader, Hector Whitley, owned the body shop, located in Sacramento County and was arrested in 2016 after Rancho Cordova Police and the Sacramento County Sheriff traced a stolen vehicle’s LoJack signal to his body shop where they found several suspicious vehicles partially dismantled and stripped.

The California Highway Patrol’s auto theft investigation team was called in to serve a search warrant and discovered additional vehicles reported stolen, weapons and illegal drugs in the shop.

Dylan Allen Dudley, owner of the original vehicle reported stolen admitted to investigators he filed a false police report in an attempt to get his insurance company to pay the claim for his vehicle.

Texas Woman Sentenced for Workers’ Comp Fraud

A Travis County district court sentenced Carolina Villanueva of New Braunfels, Texas, on fraud-related workers’ compensation charges, according to Texas Mutual Insurance Company.

Villanueva reported a job-related injury while working as a home health aide for Hill Country Community MHMR Center in Kerrville, Texas, and claimed she was unable to work because of her injury. Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to her, but then discovered Villanueva was working as a community service aide for another company. Investigators call this type of scam ‘double-dipping’ because the claimant collects benefits for being too injured to work when he or she is, in fact, gainfully employed.

The Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation prosecutor in Travis County presented the case for indictment. The court sentenced Villanueva to a Class A misdemeanor with two years deferred adjudication and 160 community service hours. She will pay $7,025 in restitution to Texas Mutual.

N.Y. Surgeon Charged With Bilking Medical Insurer

State officials say a former surgeon who lost his license to practice in New York and the medical supply company he founded have been accused in a multi-million-dollar insurance fraud scheme.

Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott says Friday that the charges against 62-year-old Steven St. Lucia of Union Foot Solutions include grand larceny and healthcare fraud.

Scott says St. Lucia forged prescriptions and falsified insurance claims for orthotics and compression stockings provided to state employees. Officials say a state workers’ health insurance plan was bilked out of more than $1 million.

State health officials revoked St. Lucia’s medical license in 2000 after deeming him a “danger to the community” and “morally bankrupt.” Authorities said he had inappropriate sexual relations with three of his patients.

A message left with his lawyer wasn’t returned.

The Associated Press reported this story.

Seven Suspects Arrested for Insurance Fraud in Louisiana for “Staged Crash”

Troopers assigned to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations New Orleans Field Office Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit arrested the last suspect in an insurance fraud scheme this week. A total of seven suspects have been arrested after staging a motor vehicle crash and making false insurance claims for injuries and property loss.

The investigation began in August 2018, when detectives received information from the Louisiana Department of Insurance in reference to possible fraudulent insurance claims from a motor vehicle crash that occurred on October 14, 2016 at the intersection of Law Street and Forstall Street in Orleans Parish. Through investigation, detectives determined that a rented 2016 GMC Sierra truck and a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu were used in the staged crash.

Following the crash, the seven suspects filed a crash report with the New Orleans Police Department and made insurance claims with the intentions of receiving a monetary settlement. A confession was obtained and arrest warrants were issued. The suspects were arrested for two counts of Automotive Insurance Fraud, Criminal Damage to Property with the Intention to Defraud, Injuring Public Records and Filing False Public Records.

The following persons were arrested and booked into the Orleans Justice Center:

1. Davis Lee White (age 31) of Chalmette, LA
2. Stephanie Dubea White (age 50) of Chalmette, LA
3. Rachel Lynn White (age 29) of Chalmette, LA
4. Craig Michael Spadoni Sr. (age 47) of Meraux, LA
5. Marvin Dale Walker (age 27) of Violet, LA
6. Dorothyjane Rose Hohensee (age 25) of New Orleans, LA
7. Lydia Dorothy Hohensee (age 42) of Meraux, LA

The Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud/Auto Theft Unit is responsible for investigating referrals of suspected fraudulent insurance acts and for the investigation of individuals and illicit organizations involved in the theft of motor vehicles.

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