Fraud Focus: Summer 2009 Issue

Aug 5, 2009



Fraud Focus is a publication of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, a national organization serving as an insurance anti-fraud catalyst among consumers, insurers, legislators, regulators and others.


Fraud Focus:  Summer 2009 Issue




Mortgage frauds add smoke to arson insurance schemes

Cons steal homes for low prices, then burn them for insurance

The recession continues clanking through the fraud world.  Desperation and anxiety are driving normally honest consumers to burn homes and cars for insurance payouts. But coldly exploitive schemes run by cunning criminals also are rearing up. Organized home arsons fueled by mortgage fraud are spreading, some investigators say.  Read the full story.





Health reform an Rx for medical cons?

Fraud fighters negotiating fraud antidotes into reform plan

With momentum building for overhaul of America’s aching health system, fraud fighters are working to ensure the onrushing proposal includes a large spoonful of medicine for cheaters who loot the system of billions annually.  The seismic push in Congress, the Administration and many sectors of private industry for an extreme makeover of the $2.5-trillion healthcare behemoth gives fraud fighters a once-in-a-generation chance to embed potentially game-changing anti-crime reforms that have languished on Washington’s back burners for years. Read the full story.





Agent steals premiums, kills fraud auditor

Also, dad poisons children’s soup to ladle out extortion plot

Some 40 unsuspecting Asian-American drivers were ambushed and set up for crashes by a massive staged-accident ring in Queens that made millions of dollars in bogus claims against auto insurers, prosecutors say.  Most victims were rammed when backing out of driveways or parking lots.  Tomas Aquilas, who allegedly coordinated the crashes, zeroed in on Asians because he believed they’re inept drivers.  Police and insurers would blame them for the crashes, he allegedly figured.  Read the full story.





Fraud through a prosecutor’s eyes

By Carolyn Henneman, Associate Commissioner, Insurance Fraud Division, Maryland

There’s a new sheriff in town in Maryland, heading the insurance administration’s fraud bureau.  She’s a former prosecutor and has a different perspective on tackling fraud cases.  Yes, Ms. Henneman favors criminal prosecution and getting tough with Marylanders who cheat the insurance system.  But she also favors consumer education, deterrence and making sure insurers are complying with anti-fraud regulations.  Read her perspective.





State budget crunches crunch anti-fraud efforts

But still, bills pass in Texas, Hawaii, Maryland and Florida

Back in January, fraud fighters knew 2009 would be a rugged year for inking new state fraud laws onto the books.  Lawmakers would focus more on balancing rickety state budgets than on torpedoing insurance cons.  With most statehouses now closed for the year, that prediction has come true.  Call this legislative session anti-fraud lite, with only a few substantive new fraud laws on the books.  Read the full story.