Brooklyn Auto Body Shop Charged with Inflating Bills to Insurer

June 24, 2011

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced has charged Borough Park autobody shop, Perfect Collision, with intentionally damaging cars brought in for repairs, so it could submit inflated bills to insurance companies.

Perfect Collision, its owner, Elie Berger; and his employee, Hershy Greenberger are charged with running a so-called “damage enhancement scheme” to over bill insurance companies by thousands of dollars.

In the indictment, the defendants are charged with submitting inflated bills for repairs to a car insured by Geico, but prosecutors said they believe additional insurance companies and carriers may have been victimized as well. The investigation is continuing.

To investigate Geico’s suspicion about Perfect Collision, KCDA Detective Investigators damaged a car’s front passenger-side fender, photographed the damage and brought the car to Perfect Collision. The indictment charges that Hershy Greenberger assured an undercover detective that Geico would cover all the repair costs. When a Geico claims adjuster arrived to photograph the damage, it had been “enhanced,” according to the indictment, with another dent in the same fender and other damage.

Greenberger and Berger are charged with making the additional damage to increase the bill and fraudulently charge Geico for the repairs. Perfect Collision is also charged with billing Geico more than $1,000 for a rental car, in an undercover’s name, even though the undercover told Greenberger that he did not want a rental car for the week of the repairs.

Officials said that while another Geico claims adjuster was at Perfect Collision to photograph another car car, he happened to spot a minivan he had been assigned to photograph for the company the following day. Without notifying Perfect Collision, he took pictures of the minivan, which had little to no damage, according to officials. The following day, when he returned to take official photographs for Geico’s records, there was new, extensive damage to the fender, driver side door and other areas, according to the indictment.

Investigators executing search warrants on Perfect Collision and Berger’s home recovered more than $700,000 in cash, a 2011 application for public assistance claiming Berger earned $350 per week as an employee of Perfect Collision, and business records. Evidence recovered in the searches will be used to investigate other crimes the defendants may have committed, including insurance fraud and welfare fraud. The investigation is continuing.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

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