If a physician is labeled a “dirty doctor” by law enforcement, it’s not because he didn’t wash his hands – he’s guilty of auto insurance fraud. The problem is widespread in all 50 states and it costs us all in higher annual premiums. While most states make a strong effort to crack down on these so-called “dirty doctors”, New York decided to go after them with a vengeance.
Auto insurance fraud is big business for those with well-planned schemes which, in most cases, net those involved millions of dollars before authorities either catch on or catch them. A dozen New York doctors signed off on bogus auto insurance injury claims for car accidents that never actually happened in order to enrich themselves as well as their “patients”, by collecting countless payments from the state’s no-fault insurance system.
According to authorities, the doctors allegedly added their signatures to auto insurance claims for injuries that not only never occurred, but for accidents that did not happen. And, in certain instances, the doctors would go so far as to rent their tax identification numbers to non-physicians so the phony-docs could submit the fraudulent claims to the insurance companies, themselves.
Once the scheme was discovered, notices from state officials went out to the doctors in question, barring them from submitting any new auto insurance claims on New York’s no-fault system. While the sting operation began at the start of 2012, evidence was gathered until authorities could issue the notices to the twelve doctors accused of taking part in the multi-million dollar scam.
Defrauding auto insurance companies is illegal…and, it makes all honest drivers victims of these schemes, as it raises the cost of everyone’s auto insurance premium – not just in New York state, but across the country.
The doctors participating in the scam were directly connected to what are referred to as “no-fault mills”. Regular bills to unsuspecting insurers for entirely fictitious and fraudulent claims were produced by these mills, cheating the system, according to the state’s Department of Financial Services.
With the crackdown, which blew everything open in February 2012 by exposing the massive network of fraud, 36 defendants were arrested throughout the state of New York. Of these individuals,10 were doctors who were allegedly operating the scam organizations from their offices in Brooklyn.
Authorities at the Department of Financial Services were alerted of the scheme when they performed an in-depth review of each of the doctors’ questionable billing practices and discovered a common trend of deceit among a number of physicians and health care practitioners. As it turned out, the doctors were a vital part of the fraud due to the fact that provided a sense of legitimacy to the claims being submitted to the insurance companies by their equally crooked “patients” for accidents that never occurred.
Sadly, this type of fraud is not restricted to the state of New York. Every state in the country has similar operations, bilking auto insurance companies out of millions of dollars and raising insurance premiums for everyone else. But, they all eventually go down…even if it’s just one operation at a time.
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What do you think of scammers who defraud auto insurance companies? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.