New York authorities have dismantled a fraud ring involving U-Haul trucks, a slew of feigned injuries, and $400,000 in unwarranted insurance claims payouts.
Following a year-long investigation by the NYPD and attorney general, police arrested 16 people on Tuesday, March 6 in connection with numerous staged accidents designed to take advantage of the state’s controversial no-fault personal injury protection (PIP) system.
“With New York’s no-fault insurance law, claims can be filed for up to $50,000 to cover physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic sessions,” explains Detective Patrick Donohue of the NYPD’s Fraudulent Accident Investigation Squad. “Meanwhile, separate lawsuits for bodily injury can be filed concurrently.”
Donohue told the press that several of the incidents involved U-Haul trucks rented by “people with squeaky-clean licenses.” Allegedly the scam’s leaders would pay each shill between $100 and $500 to rent a moving truck to set the stage for various ploys. These accidents involved scammers jumping in front of cars, trucks colliding into cabs, and various other situations from which the perpetrators could feign injuries, seek treatment, and ultimately receive reimbursement.
All of the Brooklyn, New York suspects received a free ride to the local jail. Each faces charges of insurance fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, and misdemeanor conspiracy charges.