Weekly Car Insurance Crime Watch: November 8th

Silver handcuff and dollar bank notesThe news doesn’t stop, because crime never does either.

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

And it certainly is a deluge. This week: celebrity comeuppance comes ‘round for an insurance broker; a used-car buyer gets news of the worst purchase ever; and office appliance legality comes into question.

Sentence Handed to Phony Invoicer Who Bilked Tom Hanks, The Police’s Former Guitarist

Charlie Wilson just won his war.

The man who bilked Tom Hanks (of “Charlie Wilson’s War”) and his wife Rita Wilson of a whole lot of premium overcharges was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison.

The California-based insurance broker, Jerry Goldman, faked invoices on policies for everything from cars to property to fine art (ahh, the life of a celebrity).

Victims in the Goldman case also included Andy Summers, a former guitarist of The Police.

Goldman has also been linked to an insurance scam that entangled Sam Raimi, director of several “Spider Man” and “The Evil Dead” films.

According to federal attorney Stephanie Yonekura: “I believe the reason why [the victims] didn’t notice is they weren’t familiar with the insurance industry and they didn’t know what an actual valid premium would look like.”

Again: ahh, the life of a celebrity.

Woman Pays Insurance on Used Scam Car, Gets It Taken

A Nebraska woman is lamenting a used-car buy gone bad.

She bought her Mazda 6 in 2009 from a used-car dealership. Five years of car insurance payments later, Jill Matthews got a Halloween trick when “a State Trooper showed up at her work,” according to WOWT 6 News.

The problem? The car was part of an Illinois-based large auto theft scam that involved altering pieces of vehicle information and selling off stolen cars (a man is jailed in Illinois on charges relating to the thefts).

Media reports say cars from the thefts are showing up throughout Nebraska, Illinois and a half-dozen other states.

“Are you kidding me?” Matthews told WOWT 6. “How have I owned this vehicle, drove this vehicle for this long, it’s been licensed, it’s been registered, I have a title, a lease. I’m paying for it. I have car insurance.”

Man Walks into Police HQ, Presents Forged Insurance Cards, Gets Arrested

No, the headline “man walks into police HQ” isn’t the start of a joke.

But it might as well be one, so here goes:

True story, folks. Man walks into Central Jersey police HQ. Wants his girlfriend’s car released (it was in impound for fake plates).

Man gives an officer “two photocopied insurance cards and the vehicle registration,” according to Central Jersey police.

Officer verifies all documents as forged. Man arrested. Man faces $2,500 bail.

You can laugh now.

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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