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It’s Here: 2022 Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame

Each year, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud releases the newest Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame inductees, the worst of the worst in insurance fraud scams, and 2022’s list is, as expected from previous years, horrific. The list serves as a spotlight and deterrent, a conduit to bring awareness to the WHOPPING $308.6 BILLION per year impact on all of our pockets, and also to demonstrate that these crimes are certainly not victimless.

Here we share the 10 newest inductees for 2022 according to Kendra Smith of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud:

1. “Dentist kills wife on a Safari”

“A rich, unscrupulous Pennsylvania dentist planned to murder his wife during a safari trip in Africa all along without her having a clue, such a nice husband indeed. What do you think the reason was? Take a wild guess, if you thought money, then yes you are correct, silly since he really did not need it, a $5M insurance payout, but the ‘loving’ husband’s premeditated cover plan was that they were hunting a leopard in Kafue National Park in 2016 so his wife could attain her goal of shooting a leopard, husband of the year… NOT! Here is the twist, there was more than just greed involved, there was adultery thrown into the mix. Let’s share their names with you, the murdering dentist’s name is Larry Rudolph, the wife that he assassinated was named Bianca Rudolph, and this occurred in a remote cabin in Zambia. It’s said that a while after the killing of his wife, he looked lovingly into his mistress’s eyes and said … ‘I killed my f***ing wife for you’ at a steakhouse dinner in Phoenix, Arizona after he learned that the FBI was investigating his late wife’s death back in 2020. Thankfully there was someone paying attention to his conversation instead of their own and overheard the comment at the next table all while in public. Yep, smart fella huh?!”

2. “Blinded by greed”

“$1 million and 30 years of disability fraud was committed by John Paul Cook, who suffered a hurt eye while on duty in 1986. The Asheville, N.C. man claimed his condition worsened over the next 30 years. He was discharged and lying his ‘severe visual deficit’ made him unemployable. The VA eventually declared Cook legally blind. During the time he was considered blind and 100% disabled, but how the heck did he renew his driver’s license several times over the years, legally owned and also registered 30 vehicles, had many overnight excursions and taught archery and was also a BB gun instructor for the Boy Scouts of America. He was also certified to read maps and also used a compass and by the way, the compass was not in braille! Continuously received disability benefits for 30 years, as he was siphoning out $3,990 a month from 1987 – 2017 and also received home remodeling assistance.”

3. “Arsonist burns out”

“Wandale J. Fulton’s blizzard of home arsons, fake property thefts and bogus auto thefts finally crashed and burned in Kansas City, MO. Fulton stole at least $322,000 overall. Fulton and his wife bought a $617,000 mansion. Someone kicked in the door and stole $85,000 of possessions. They included two air conditioning units, three furnaces, a $6,500 lawn mower and 10 leather jackets, he told his insurer. Yet Fulton billed American Family up to $300,000, then dropped the claim when challenged.

He next bought a fix-up home for $500 and insured it for $177,600. The place mysteriously burned down a year later. Fulton claimed he spent thousands renovating the home. Yet his supposed contractors didn’t exist — his forged invoices listed fake contractors who were his buddies. More houses then burned down for insurance money. Fulton also created a phony car dealership. He stole people’s IDs and used their good credit to buy cars at auto auctions. Fulton sold the cars to his pals, who falsely told insurers that someone stole their vehicles. An innocent teacher invested his retirement savings in Fulton’s bogus car dealership. Fulton then stole his ID to buy auction cars. Fulton pled federally guilty and awaits sentencing. Stealing identities created a false life to only face a reality of prison.”

4. “Holy firestarter scam”

“Frosting on a dessert bar outed the torching of a struggling Christian outreach center for $500K of insurance in Detroit Lakes, MN. A sweet capture indeed. The Refuge was about to fold when its owners allegedly hired Gary John Bogatz Jr. to burn down the place. Bogatz and another man planned a break-in into the Refuge building and ignited a fire using lawn mower gasoline after allegedly being asked to do so by a Refuge board member and another individual in connection to the building, geez, what kind of people are part of this board? He claimed people connected to the center told him it would close soon unless ‘something happened’ wink-wink, and the building had ‘a lot of insurance,’ Bogatz said he was instructed to make it look like a burglary and to burn the place down. The fire generated a $500,000 insurance claim.”

5. “Crash claim turns deadly”

“A former high school boys basketball coach killed himself two days before his sentencing for a false crash-damage claim while working as a personal-injury attorney. Matthew McCollister was found dead in his home in Twin Cities, MN. He left behind his wife and three young children. McCollister was an acclaimed coach of the South St. Paul hoops team, in addition to his law practice. A chiro introduced McCollister to a confidential informant who was working with the Minnesota Commerce Fraud Bureau. The informant posed as a recruiter of supposed crash victims for bogus chiro treatment billed to auto insurers. McCollister met with the runner at the Red Cow restaurant, and asked him to find people who supposedly were injured.”

6. “Toothless tooth con”

“A dentist broke patients’ teeth to falsely bill insurers $4.2 million for new crowns in the Milwaukee area. Scott Charmoli of Grafton, WI convinced patients they needed crowns, then deliberately ruined their teeth with his dental drill (ugh, just thinking about that sound makes people cringe) and captured photos of the damaged teeth (his own twisted masterpiece) and captured X-rays of the damage. The greedy scheme played out by Charmoli first showing the patients an X-ray of a healthy tooth, but then pointing to a line or a spot he said showed a ‘fracture’ or ‘decay.’ He then pressed the patients into agreeing to get crown work done. Of course, the images of the teeth that were purposely damaged by him were then sent to insurers as he hungrily sought payment for every expensive crown performed. So why would he be doubted? Insurers then believed the images were legit and showed pre-operation damage. So, the insurer paid the submitted claims, and many of his patients also paid large co-pays, adding to his pockets.”

7. “Urine becomes yellow gold”

“Two men bought small, struggling hospitals then used them as pipelines for billing insurers fully $1.4 billion of false urine tests. Even outside the city limits, healthcare fraud attracts the worst of the worst. Rural hospitals are ideal targets for the not so good intentional takeovers in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi by Jorge and Ricardo Perez. The hospitals they set their greedy sights on could charge insurers higher rates under agreements to ‘better serve’ rural communities and it is a dang shame that they took that as an opportunity to execute their fraudulent behavior. Overall, the Perez’s converted the rural hospitals into testing labs in order to bill insurers for phantom or inflated urine tests. The scheme made the hospitals appear to be legit facilities for the testing of urine of addicted patients. The sad reality is that other labs actually did the testing. Much of the lab testing billed through the rural hospitals involved unnecessary urine drug testing for vulnerable addiction treatment patients.”

8. “Slip & fall ring tumbles”

“A surgeon did worthless and unneeded back surgeries on homeless and addicted people so a slip-and-fall ring could exploit them to maximize $31 million of insurance payouts. Dr. Sady Ribeiro pled federally guilty. The ring recruited more than 400 patients in the New York City area. The patients were coached to lie that they tripped, fell and were hurt at pre-set locations. Sometimes they deliberately fell at sites such as cellar doors, cracks in concrete sidewalks, and purported ‘potholes.’ The supposedly injured patients were referred to colluding personal-injury attorneys, who falsely sued the site owners and their insurers. The patients were also told to receive ongoing chiro and other treatment from certain chiropractors and docs, including Ribeiro. To continue with their lawsuits, the patients had to undergo two back surgeries.”

9. “Fraud of the living dead?”

“Some $17 million was falsely billed for medical equipment ordered by hundreds of who turned out to be dead. A Raleigh, NC woman named Tanya Parrish Grant, who included a whopping 422 dead people in her bills. She reached out clear across the globe and paid firms in India and Pakistan to give her lists of Medicare patient names and personal identifiers. The lists came from overseas call centers that contacted Medicare patients to ask if they needed the equipment. Grant’s firms — Carolina Rehab Produces and Atlantic Brace — then turned around and billed Medicare.”

10. “Yanking contractor’s welcome mat”

“Thousands of homeowners lost everything when the Tubbs wildfire barreled through Sonoma County, CA in 2017. Then along came contractor Salvador Chiaromonte. He took more than $1 million of victims’ money and left them with unrepaired homes. The fire wrecked 4,600 homes. Victims signed about 40 construction contracts with Chiaramonte. He took money for work that was shoddily performed or not done at all. Chiaramonte missed deadlines, and broke promises on construction start dates. Victims saw their rebuilds drag on with no progress. One victim was D.M. Kelley, who lost his house. He met with Chiaramonte who repeatedly mentioned his Christian values.”

Read the full stories here.

We would also like to point out that in previous years, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has noted that insurance fraud costs approximately $80 billion. Now? They’re citing $308.6 BILLION. Let that sink in. WHAT A JUMP!

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