Coalition Unveils Its ‘Fraud Hall of Shame’ List for 2002

December 18, 2002

The nation’s top 13 insurance crooks, cons and knuckleheads of 2002 have been enshrined into the first annual Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.

The inaugural scheme team was dishonored for insurance swindles that were exceptionally large, brazen, tragic or plain stupid. All Hall of Shame members were convicted or their cases closed in 2002. Visit http://www.InsuranceFraud.org for full crime details.

“America’s biggest insurance fraud pros became fraud cons after being convicted for trying to live lives of the rich and shameless. This proves there’s no such thing as an immaculate deception,” Dennis Jay, the coalition’s executive director, commented.

Those making the list include:

Sinking feeling – Reportedly, Russian pirates tried to sink his yacht, wealthy Beverly Hills lawyer Rex DeGeorge insisted when caught after botching a scheme to scuttle his luxury boat for $3.5 million in insurance money. Los Angeles.

Big cotton-pickin’ dig – A farmer somehow reportedly buried his eight-ton cotton picker – as big as two trash trucks – then pretended it was stolen so he could scam insurance money. Rochelle, Ga.

World Trade dissenter – Charles Gavett reportedly said his wife died in the World Trade Center attacks. He claimed more than $600,000 in life insurance money – but Cynthia actually was alive and well back home. Concord, Ga.

Grave mistake – Raul Pero’s grave contained only rocks. He reportedly faked his own death for $2 million in life insurance money, but screwed up when a crony tried to cash in a life policy before the date on Pero’s death certificate. Los Angeles.

Hate paint – The torched car plus racial slur painted on Jaelynn Sealey’s garage door seemed like a vicious hate crime. But she reportedly invented the racial attack herself to steal insurance money. Hunterville, NC.

Meth muddle – Richard Martinez’ illegal meth lab blew up and seriously burned him. He reportedly scammed $40,000 in workers compensation insurance by saying he was hurt while working for his mother’s bakery. Santa Ana, Calif.

Heartless heart doc – Dr. Andrew Cubria performed more than 750 worthless and painful heart operations on homeless people and addicts to reportedly illegally bill taxpayer-supported Medicaid more than $2 million. Chicago.

Lamborghini lifestyle – Rogue financier and S&M playboy Martin Frankel secretly took over seven small insurance companies and reportedly stole more than $200 million while thousands of policyholders lost their coverage. Greenwich, Conn.

Booze and bricks – Brothers Jimmie and Isom Turquitt reportedly nearly got rich by luring alcoholics to their farm for bogus bricklaying jobs, buying life insurance policies on them, and feeding them booze so they’d drink themselves to death. Birmingham, Ala.

Police protection? – One of NYPD’s own employees reportedly helped run a huge auto- insurance swindle from, of all places, inside the department itself. New York City.

Dollars & dents – “Flint” Hawkins reportedly staged hundreds of fake car crashes to bilk insurers out of millions for 20 years. New York City.

What nerve! – Dr. Felix Vasquez-Ruiz reportedly performed thousands of worthless nerve tests involving painful electric shocks, then billed taxpayer-supported health programs $4 million for the phony treatments. Chicago.

Home wrecker – Insurance adjuster Steven Budge rammed a huge chunk of tree through a small hole in a roof to reportedly inflate an insurance claim – only to have a nosy neighbor videotape everything. Vernon Twp., NJ.

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