NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Experts have issued a warning about insurance fraud after a Long Island man was convicted of staging more than 30 fake car crashes.

As WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, Maxo Jean, 52, of West Hempstead was convicted of faking accidents to steal $150,000 in no-fault insurance money.

He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for organizing crash rings and arranging for fake accident “victims” to receive bogus treatment at corrupt medical clinics, Miller reported.

One advocacy group said the conviction shines a light on the scam that’s more common than most people realize.

Dennis Jay with the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud said the industry loses a lot of cash due to these scams and drives up the cost for law-abiding citizens.

“It is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars,” he told Miller. “Innocent people have gotten injured and killed.”

Jay’s first piece of advice to drivers is to avoid tailgating.

“They slam on their brakes. They get rear-ended,” he cautioned.

The group also advises anyone who gets into a collision to take pictures of the accident and get contact information from both the driver and the passengers.

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