Brooklyn Police Officers Charged in Auto Insurance Fraud Scheme

October 24, 2002

Three police officers of the 61st Precinct in Brooklyn, N.Y. have been charged with insurance fraud after allegedly falsifying at least two dozen auto accident reports resulting in more than $1.5 million in fraudulent insurance claims.

The New York Times reports that Jeanine O’Malley, Susan Lavin, and Robert Herold allegedly operated a fraud ring for the last two years. Another 27 people have been charged with making false medical or auto insurance claims based on accidents that never occurred. Other reports filed by the three officers are still being investigated; as many as 50 of them may never have actually happened.

Prosecutors allege that the trio made between $20 and $100 for each false accident report, while claimants made between $500 and $1,500. According to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, investigations into the officers’ actions commenced two years ago based on a confidential informer’s tip.

Arrested and arraigned Monday, the officers pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance. Charges against them include insurance fraud, falsifying business records, grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct. Herold and Lavin also face charges of conspiracy. If convicted, they could face up to seven years in prison.

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