Friday, November 25, 2005
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi announced charges against Bernard Laufer, a lawyer in Huntington Park (CA), and 22 others for faking auto accidents and filing insurance claims that cost up to $3 million. A press release by the Department of Insurance (here) describes the scheme:
During the course of the resulting probe, investigators found evidence of as many as 70 “swoop and squat” type staged collisions allegedly caused by the group, most targeting SUVs or commercial trucks. Such an operation typically involves two cars driven by suspects who box in a victim’s car on a freeway, causing a collision. The scam participants then file fraudulent insurance claims for alleged injuries. Although none of the victims was seriously injured, the financial consequences forced at least one victim to close his business after his company truck was totaled in a collision.