New York auto insurance fraud ring dismantled, nine charged

New York Daily News reported that defendants Rangee Jawahir, Georgette Sloley, Joseph Cermele and Wayne Scott were arraigned on robbery, insurance fraud and other charges in New Rochelle City Court. Ronnie Lee-Andros Jawahir, Ronald Jawahir, Danesh Singh, Andrew Arjune and Allan Ramdeo Ramiah have also been arraigned on similar charges.

Authorities added that three other people were arrested and charged separately in connection with the scheme – Latoya Shonta Turner, Reiluis Medina and Andrea Thompson.

Prosecutors said that between May 2019 and March 2020, members of the fraud ring picked up damaged cars from body shops and intentionally made the damage worse. Sometimes the additional damage was known to their owners, and sometimes not, prosecutors noted.

Video evidence from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office showed several people hitting the side of a vehicle inside a fenced in parking area.

In some of the incidents, the fraud ring staged car crashes involving two or more vehicles – as long as one of the car’s owners had insurance, authorities said. Court documents also said the alleged conspirators used hammers to make it look like a car had been damaged by another vehicle – but in some cases the scammers did nothing to the vehicle, but still filed an insurance claim.

Participants in the fraud ring included body shop owners and their employees, owners of non-operational body shops, car owners who received a portion of the fraudulent payments, and people who impersonated them. vehicle owners to call insurance companies with a claim. In addition, the scheme also involved people laundering payments, as well as others whose job it was to locate new people to be recruited into the fraud network.

“When false claims are made and money is stolen from insurance companies, it forces all of our insurance rates to go up and costs each of us hard earned money,” the county attorney said. of Westchester, Anthony Scarpino, in a statement.

All the defendants have been released without bail and are due to return to court in January, New York Daily News noted.


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