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.
If prosecutors are correct, five individuals involved in fairly insignificant car accidents received cash from two “runners” who coached these “accident victims” on how to exaggerate the injuries they sustained. Further these “runners” then steered them to the Queens Integrated Medical Care where they received medical treatment they did not need (and ultimately insurance footed the bill). The clinic receptionist and manager are also alleged to have paid the “runners” for finding the patients.
Simply, DA Brown, just like chief prosecutors in throughout the counties of New York City, have zero tolerance for any scheme that defrauds the State of New York or any private company. In fact, this investigation began in 2008 and prosecutors have seen it through from its initial stage to what was likely wire taps, search warrants and clearly arrests. All of these elements of a long term investigation should be concerning to those arrested and accused. What will their defenses be and how will they implement them? Is it possible that some of these men and women were caught up in something that was not of their own making? Where did the alleged ill gotten gains and proceeds go? Can prosecutors track the money? Was an informant involved or an undercover police officer? Alternatively, was the case the culmination of good ole’ police work? Whatever the answers may be, these defendants and the criminal defense attorneys will soon find out.
To educate yourself on the crimes of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, follow any of the links throughout this entry. Further reading can be found on this blog and the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com (linked below).
A criminal defense firm representing clients throughout New York City in all white collar and theft crimes, the two founding New York criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC served as Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys prior to starting the criminal defense practice.