New York authorities indicted eight defendants last week with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies.
According to the indictment, these defendants allegedly staged auto accidents and later falsely claimed that they sustained physical injuries as a result of the accidents.
Authorities charge that, beginning in March 2009 and continuing until July 2011, the defendants rented vehicles from U-Haul and drove with one or more co-conspirators as passengers to locations in Kings and Nassau Counties where they either intentionally struck or were struck intentionally by vehicles driven and occupied by other co-conspirators.
After the accidents, the defendants responded to locations throughout the metropolitan area ostensibly to receive medical treatment for injuries purportedly suffered during the staged accidents, authorities alleged.
The defendants and others later filed insurance claims with U-Haul’s insurer Republic Western Insurance CompanyWest, as well as Travelers Insurance Company, Allstate Insurance Company, GMAC Insurance, GEICO, and Progressive Insurance which sought over $2 million, and the defendants obtained over $1 million in payment, for claimed injuries and medical treatment, according to authorities.
Named as defendants in the indictment are Shawnn McFadden, Roshon Cooke, Daniel Osborne, Daniel Thompson, Allah Brown, Byron Dudley, Shaquana Basnight and Clifford Hawkins.
“As alleged, these defendants played bumper cars with the lives of unsuspecting New Yorkers, all to enrich themselves through insurance fraud. Insurance fraud through staged accidents presents a danger not only to the public health but also exacts a high cost to the public in the cost of insurance,” stated Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “We and our law enforcement partners will vigorously pursue and prosecute those who seek to profit by such fraud.”
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