fraud file If convicted of the top count, each defendant faces a maximum of one to four years in prison.

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Five individuals have been arrested in New York and charged with participating in an auto insurance scheme in which they allegedly purchased or increased automobile insurance policy coverage after their vehicles already had been damaged and then misrepresented the dates of loss in claims submitted to their insurance carriers.

Filed false claims

According to prosecutors, each of the defendants owned a car that was damaged. After their car was damaged, each defendant allegedly either purchased car insurance, increased the amount of his or her insurance coverage, or reduced the deductible, and then filed false claims with their insurance company stating that the incidents had occurred after the enhanced policies were in effect.

Related: Fighting auto insurance fraud

As alleged by the government:

Willie Mack Floris, of Long Pond, Pennsylvania, allegedly was involved in a car accident on July 23, 2016 and then lowered his collision coverage deductible from $2,500 to $500 before submitting his claim on July 26, 2016. Allegedly, in his claim, Floris falsely stated that the accident had occurred on July 25, 2016. He was charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

Priscilla Valdez, of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, allegedly was involved in a car accident on July 14, 2016, added collision coverage minutes after the accident, then filed her claim on July 25, 2016, falsely stating that the accident had occurred sometime during the night of July 24 to July 25, 2016.

Valdez was charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

Alston Jones, of Canarsie, Brooklyn, allegedly was involved in a car accident on January 31, 2016, added collision coverage on February 3, 2016, then filed a claim on March 30, 2016, falsely stating that the accident had occurred sometime during the night of March 29 to March 30, 2016.

Jones was charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

Brian Correia, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, allegedly let his insurance coverage lapse while he was away on a trip and returned from his trip on January 17, 2016 to discover that his vehicle had been vandalized. Allegedly, Correia reinstated his insurance policy that night, then filed his claim the morning after, falsely claiming that the vandalism and theft had occurred on January 18, 2016.

Correia was charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

Victor Carrasquillo, of Brentwood, Long Island, allegedly filed a claim on April 3, 2016 for damage to the rear passenger side of his vehicle, then withdrew the claim after learning that his deductible was $2,500. Allegedly, on April 7, 2016, Carrasquillo lowered his deductible from $2,500 to $500, and then on May 10, 2016 allegedly filed a claim for the same damage, falsely claiming that the damage had occurred on April 22, 2016.

Carrasquillo was charged with one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony; one count of Insurance Fraud in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony; and one count of Attempted Grand Larceny, a class A misdemeanor.

If convicted of the top count, each defendant faces a maximum of one to four years in prison.

Related: Former NYPD officer sentenced to 2 years in prison for auto insurance fraud

Steven A. Meyerowitz, Esq., is the director of FC&S Legal, the editor-in-chief of the Insurance Coverage Law Report, and the founder and president of Meyerowitz Communications Inc. Email him at smeyerowitz@meyerowitzcommunications.com.