Articles Posted in Insurance Fraud

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New York City government, from Manhattan to Brooklyn and Queens to the Bronx, is on the lookout for ways to plug its various financial holes. Sometimes this results in spending cuts while other times agencies are looking to claw back monies expended or lost. Unfortunately for many struggling people, those who have received benefits associated with the New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”) may be a target not only of an administrative investigation, but a criminal one that could lead to a felony arrest.

Crotty Saland PC, a New York criminal defense firm established by two former Manhattan prosecutors, has handled numerous investigations and inquiries by the Human Resources Administration into alleged benefits that clients were either over paid or not entitled to receive. These allegations have involved “thefts” and “frauds” from as little as approximately $20,000 to nearly $100,000. Fortunately for these clients, through negotiation and diligence, not only was Crotty Saland PC able to reduce the amount owed by thousands of dollars and set up a reasonable payment plan, but these clients avoided the fear, embarrassment, uncertainly and potential incarceration as a result of an arrest for Grand Larceny, Offering a False Instrument for Filing and other similar felony crimes.

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Queens District Attorney Richard Brown is the Energizer Bunny of fraud scheme prosecutors. Running on batteries that never die, DA Brown just announced the arrests and indictments of Hazel Abrams, Aaron Dawkins, Antoinette Duncan, Tamara Easy, Wilburt Gordon, Albert Kopolovich, Raymond Mattison, Rolph Nozine and Jason Wade for their alleged involvement in a Queens Village no-fault insurance fraud scheme. In addition to the felony arrests of these men and women, prosecutors also indicted Queens Integrated Medical Care (previously Arco Medical, P.C). More specifically, these defendant’s now face DA Brown’s wrath for numerous charges including Third Degree Grand Larceny (New York Penal Law 155.35), Third Degree Insurance Fraud (New York Penal Law 176.20) and First Degree Falsifying Business Records (New York Penal Law 175.10). Make no mistake. Having defended individuals for large scale fraud and larceny schemes in Queens, I know DA Brown means business. Even assuming these men and woman have no criminal record, each faces up to two and one third to seven years in prison.

According to the press release, the “fraud factory” at Queens Integrated Medical Care bilked insurance companies out of $150,000. Certainly not a large number in terms of other arrests and indictments handled by that office, the amount of the alleged theft is still significant. Although any theft in excess of $50,000, but no more than $1,000,000 is a “C” felony of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (punishable by as much as fifteen years in prison), the fraud scheme alleged here actually consists of seven separate indictments. Therefore, the total value of the alleged insurance fraud is not aggregated to increase the degree of the offense.

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Aquaman never had to come up to breathe and it appears that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. does not either. DA Vance’s Super Friends clearly have no interest in catching their collective breath as they continue to relentlessly pursue those believed to be the Legion of Doom’s villinious associates. Whether it is fighting crime in the streets, or, as his predecessor Robert Morgenthau coined during his thirty plus year tenure, “crime in the suites,” the Manhattan DA’s Office continues to unequivically display its lack of tolerance for criminal shenanigans. According to their latest press release, Sudha Kailas, Herlina Luis and Janice Sich are the unfortunate recipients of this zealous pursuit of all things allegedly criminal. The arrests in New York of Kailas, Herlina and Sich are merely a minuscule fraction of the white collar theft and fraud cases brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office over the past few months.

It is alleged by prosecutors that Kailas, Luis and Sich, who are charged with Grand Larceny, Insurance Fraud and other crimes, defrauded insurance companies and employment health plans out of nearly a half a million dollars (it appears as if the cases are separate). While likely only a “drop in the bucket” of an unsympathetic insurance company’s finances (some might argue they steal from us), the reality is that any fraud victimizes tax payers and other law abiding citizens who pay into these programs. Certainly, if true, a theft of this scale is not one that is insignificant or can be ignored by law enforcement and is understandingly the target of many agencies.

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