Weekly Car Insurance Crime Watch: February 7

Suspect in custodyThe news doesn’t stop, because crime never does either.

With the deluge of crime stories that Online Auto Insurance News (OAIN) sees every day relating to car coverage, here is a roundup of this week’s biggest headline-grabbing yarns.

And it certainly is a deluge. This week, a guilty verdict closes the book on a federal staged-crash case; a story about deer as patsies; and a “classic” case of a “stolen” car.

NY Man Gets Guilty Verdict, Had Used ‘Crews’ to Create Crashes

A 52-year-old New York man was found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud in a scheme so calculated and expansive that a federal judge said he was “appalled at the level of corruption” that it involved.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said this week that it has secured a guilty verdict for Maxo Jean, who had used “crews,” composed of both drivers and passengers, to target and crash into innocent drivers. The scheme required innocent motorists “so that supposed ‘accidents’ would appear to be real accidents.’”

Authorities said that Jean carried out the scheme over several years and collected more than $150,000 from both insurers’ claim payouts and “kickbacks from corrupt medical clinics.”

Jean orchestrated more than 30 car crashes. U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin is slated to deliver Jean’s sentence in May.

NC Woman Blames Nature for Fake Damage, Faces Felony Charges

A North Carolina woman tried to get over on a gecko about a car crash with a deer—and now she faces felony fraud charges for it.

Twenty-year-old Shawnda Janae Pack filed an allegedly fake claim with GEICO earlier this month for car damage she said was sustained when a deer collided with her vehicle.

According to investigators with the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), Pack said she hit a deer on January 7 but the “same damage had been documented as the result of a January 2013 accident in which Pack was arrested for reckless driving and hit-and-run.”

Pack likely didn’t take a look at State Farm’s annual report on deer-vehicle crashes, which said last year that collisions with deer in North Carolina aren’t all that common. In fact, according to the report, there is a 1-in-111 chance of it happening in the state.

According to the NCDOI, Pack was charged this week with one count of felony insurance fraud and one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

A ‘Classic’ Car ‘Stolen’ in Classic Fake Claims Case

In another story based out of New York, a man in Glen Falls, NY, pleaded guilty to faking the theft of a 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle he said had been swiped from his garage.

Luckily, investigators from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office found Michael Daniels’ classic car. Unluckily, the car was in his dad’s garage.

Daniels was apparently eyeing the $80,000 insurance claim for the vehicle. His plea deal includes a four-month jail term that a report from PostStar.com said he started serving this week.

Daniels’ 66-year-old father faces still-pending charges.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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