NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Their scheme has come to a crashing halt.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced the arrest of 16 people who allegedly staged six “accidents” to get insurance money.
They allegedly crashed into buses, livery cabs and cars they rented, and then acted like they were hurt.
According to Schneiderman, they tried to bilk insurance companies out of more than $330,000 by faking injuries.
Prosecutors outlined several of the incidents, which all worked in roughly the same way. In one case, five of the alleged scammers were on board a city bus when another scammer crashed a U-Haul into it. The people on the bus pretended to be injured.
Prosecutors said most of those accused agreed to take money before the “accident” to participate in the scheme. Once they were “injured,” they would get treated and fill out insurance forms, lying about the extent of their injuries.
Only two of the group got a total of $13,500 from insurance settlements.
The 16 face multiple felony charges, including insurance fraud and grand larceny.
“This all-too-common staged accident scheme puts innocent lives in danger so perpetrators can rip off the system to make a quick buck,” Schneiderman said. “Breaking up these criminal operations means safer streets and a fairer market for consumers whose insurance premiums skyrocket as a result of this kind of fraud.”