Multi-Agency Task Force Takes Down Large Calif. Auto Fraud Ring

March 12, 2003

The Los Angeles County Auto Insurance Fraud Task Force arrested more than a dozen suspects and served search warrants at 18 locations throughout the Glendale area, including law offices, medical clinics and private residences in connection with an insurance fraud investigation dubbed “Operation Cabbie.”

Suspects allegedly orchestrated staged or “paper collisions” throughout the Los Angeles County area and worked with law offices to file fraudulent claims with insurance companies. A number of medical and chiropractic clinics were also involved by billing for alleged treatment provided to suspect victims. So far, investigators have linked this crime ring to at least 13 staged collisions, representing a half a million dollars in fraudulent claims. Investigators believe evidence collected will reveal more staged collisions.

Suspects were charged with multiple felony counts ranging from insurance fraud to unlawful referrals to law offices; one was charged with practicing law without a license. All were booked into the Los Angeles County Central Jail.

Approximately 120 law enforcement officers participated in the sweep. Mercury and Safeco Insurance Companies and the National Insurance Crime Bureau also assisted in the investigation. Each count of insurance fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

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