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NYPD officer among 27 arrested in massive $18 million insurance fraud scam: Elaborate insurance fraud scheme involving cop, 911 operators, nurses, doctors, lawyers

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An NYPD officer was arrested by feds as part of the take down of a massive $18 million insurance fraud scam, authorities Thursday.

Officer Yaniris Deleon was taken into custody while on duty in Manhattan Wednesday by federal agents with drawn assault weapons, sources said.
Nurses at city hospitals are among 26 other defendants in the case.

Deleon, along with four NYPD 911 operators and a supervisor, are accused of selling scammers names, phone numbers and confidential information about car crash victims they had access to as part of their jobs. The nurses are accused of similar conduct.

“There is no place for corruption within the NYPD,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “By tarnishing the shield, as well as their sacred oaths, these employees will be held the highest account the law provides.”
Other defendants allegedly reached out to the victims and steered them toward clinics on the scammers’ payroll in both New York and New Jersey, according to authorities.

Doctors and lawyers would then bilk medical insurance companies for procedures that were never done or completely unnecessary, and give the scammers kickbacks, prosecutors charge.

The names, addresses and contact numbers for about 60,000 crash victims were steered to the scam artists over the last five years, officials said.
Deleon is normally assigned to the 42nd Precinct in the Melrose section of the Bronx but had been assigned to “barricade duty” in Manhattan when she was apprehended by the feds, sources said.

The NYPD employees arrested are 911 operators Angela Myers, Latifa Abdul-Khaliq, Shakeema Foster, Kourtnei Williams and 911 operator supervisor Makkah Shabazz, officials said.
Five of the NYPD employees were immediately suspended after their arrest, officials said. Abdul-Khaliq resigned from the department in May.

Deleon, who sources said recently had a baby, is accused of providing the leaders of the scheme with the names and numbers of two dozen crash victims. The defendants would send the names over online messaging systems like WhatsApp, officials said.

She and the other NYPD employees were told they would be paid about $4,000 a month and make anywhere between $24,000 and $30,000 “off the books” if they kept the fraudsters flush with names.


Yaniris Deleon, 4.jpgNYPD officer Yaniris Deleon, accused of participating in a multi-million insurance fraud scheme involved the scheme, leaves court on Thursday

The scammers they gave names to then made about $3,000 per shady referral, netting about $18 million over five years, authorities charge.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino said a five-year investigation initiated by his office and the New York State Police exposed systemic flaws in no-fault insurance laws in New York and New Jersey.
“The nature of this fraud and bribery results in higher insurance premiums and unnecessary medical costs which impacts us all,” he said. “Hopefully, this prosecution will act as a deterrent to those who seek to profit illegally by gaming the system.”
Under the no-fault insurance laws, motorists can count on insurance companies to pay claims automatically for certain accidents. The laws provide for insurance companies to often pay medical service providers directly for treatment to car accident victims, resolving claims without consideration of blame or fault for the accident.

Prosecutors said the scam was masterminded by 51-year-old Anthony Rose of Jamaica, Queens, who had been running the operation since 2014.
Rose, who also went by the name Todd Chambers, received names and numbers from about 50 people.
He would then give the names and numbers to about 15 underlings working in a “call center in Brooklyn” to reach out to the victims with a pre-approved script, officials said.

Rose told the callers to target victims in minority communities because he believed they would be easy marks, according to the feds.

“The hood is number one,” Rose allegedly told co-conspirators. “All that Manhattan s–t, those people got attorneys. We need all the hood cases.”

When they reached out to victims, the middlemen would claim they were from a group affiliated with the city Department of Transportation and obtained their names and numbers through a “personal injury hotline.”

The callers brazenly lied to the accident victims, claiming that they were calling to protect them from people who obtain victims’ information illegally and mislead them into seeking treatment with certain providers, federal officials said.
Rose and 911 operators were arraigned Thursday in the Manhattan federal court on charges of conspiracy to violate the travel act, solicitation of bribes and gratuities and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health care information.

“These actions have undermined the integrity of our emergency and medical first responders,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. “This Office is committed to rooting out corruption wherever it is found, and will not rest until those who seek to profit by corrupting our public institutions are bought to justice.”
Deleon, who shook in court as she appeared uncuffed and wearing a GAP sweatshirt, pled not guilty through her attorney and released after posting $50,000 bond.
“She’s [Deleon], has been a hardworking law enforcement officer for a number of years,” her attorney, Guy Oksenhendler, said after her court appearance.
“Most of the charges in the indictment have nothing to do with her.”


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