Inside Operation Boris It looked like a routine traffic accident on a wet Long Island highway. But it led investigators to a gigantic fraud they're calling the Big Organized Russian Insurance Scam. - December 8, 2003

(FORTUNE Magazine) – There was a shortage of regular guys on the road. At least that's how it seemed to six young Russians driving on the Southern State Parkway. They had left the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn--known as "Little Odessa" for its large Russian emigre population--more than an hou...

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Hasnain says:

I came across this story randomly on Twitter and it seemed too incredulous to believe - massive insurance fraud, pervasive through the system where people would fake accidents, have doctors be in on it to actually bill the insurance companies, and ... it gets even crazier. But this all checks out! I wonder if there’s a documentary on this somewhere (article is from 2003)

“I can't tell you their names. Or even the type of cars they were driving. If I do, someone might find them. And when you're involved with organized crime and you talk about it, you don't want to be found. What I can tell you is that the accident, which occurred in the winter of 2002, proved to be a very big deal indeed. In the months that followed, the four passengers listed on the police report were arrested. Their testimony ultimately led investigators in Suffolk County, Long Island, to uncover what may turn out to be the largest organized insurance-fraud ring in U.S. history. In mid-August, Suffolk County district attorney Thomas Spota announced that a grand jury had indicted 567 people and corporations connected with the ring, which he says is tied to more than 1,000 car accidents in the New York area. The list of indictments includes passengers; the "runners" who recruited them and orchestrated the accidents; the doctors who "diagnosed" and "treated" the victims; the medical clinics that processed their insurance claims; and the financiers the district attorney alleges are the masterminds of a vast and interconnected criminal enterprise.

Only 240 of the indictments have been made available to the public. The rest, along with many of the facts in the case, remain under seal. Over the past two months, however, FORTUNE has interviewed dozens of officials involved with the case, including insurance company investigators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and detectives; reviewed hundreds of pages of confidential documents; and heard the stories of people charged in the scheme, who agreed to speak on the condition that we shield their identities. The picture that emerges is of a sophisticated organized-crime syndicate that rivals any drug lord's, and that systematically bilked some of the best-known names in the insurance industry out of hundreds of millions of dollars. The losses from the case are still being tallied. State Farm has acknowledged potential exposure of $48 million, and experts involved in the case predict that when Allstate, GEICO, and others weigh in, that number could easily reach $500 million.”

Posted on 2020-11-29T07:04:22+0000