Masters of disaster brand fraud as offensive and costly crime
WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 5, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — A torched office building injures seven firefighters; a nose doctor buys a yacht with insurance money from damaging and worthless surgeries; cohorts cut off a mentally disabled man’s hand for an insurance payout.
The Hall of Shame annually dishonors the year’s most brazen, vicious or plain klutzy convicted insurance criminals. The Hall of Shame helps brand insurance fraud as a costly and socially deviant crime by detailing true-life cases, and the damage caused by these masters of disaster. All were convicted or had other legal closure in the last year.
Witness the No-Class of 2012:
Larcenous arson. Seven firefighters were seriously hurt when a burning office building collapsed on them. One was paralyzed, and several had crushed bones. Calvin Jones had helped set the Detroit building on fire with gasoline for an insurance payout.
Crooks fingered. Two cohorts sliced off a mentally disabled man’s hand with a tree-trimming saw to collect more than $670,000 in insurance money. Porky Weaver trusted one cohort like a father figure, who exploited that friendship in a crime that Porky only dimly understood.
Smelly sinus ploy. Patients of nose doctor Mark Weinberger ended up with painfully damaged sinuses from worthless and outdated surgeries the Pittsburgh-area man performed after cursory exams. Weinberger stole millions of insurance dollars, and bought a yacht and lived a princely lifestyle at his patients’ expense.
Airbag con deflated. Dai Zhensong tried to flood the U.S. with useless knockoff Chinese airbags from his base in Chattanooga, Tenn. He thus exposed innocent motorists to potential death or injury during crashes. Several of his airbags spewed flames and shrapnel at crash dummies in federal tests after Zhensong was busted. Crooked body shops and others typically install such knockoffs but charge insurers full price.
Dead-cat con. Yevgeny Samsonov’s treasured cat Tom died in a car crash, the Tacoma, Wash. man told an insurer. He wanted $20,000, except that Tom didn’t exist. Samsonov had downloaded photos of two different white cats from the Internet, lied that both photos were Tom, and somehow figure the insurer wouldn’t catch on.
House of horrors. Seniors were malnourished and unwashed, living amid rotting garbage, filth and rodents in nursing homes run by George Houser. The Sandy Springs, Ga. man, meanwhile spent millions of stolen Medicare dollars on real estate, luxury cars, vacations and other goods.
Poisoned dessert. Alan Duval died sitting in a chair outside, his system full of booze and drugs. It looked like suicide until dogged investigators discovered his ex-wife Tami had lured him to her home and fed him his favorite sugary dessert called “dirt pudding.” Tami laced it with more than 80 times the normal dose of morphine and muscle relaxants she’d stolen. Her motive: $100,000 in life-insurance money.