- Dean Smith
The 2016 Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame Inductees
Year after year, we look to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud for the release of the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame inductees; the worst of the worst insurance fraud crimes committed within the past year. These cases prove more and more each year that insurance fraud is never a victimless crime, and the lengths that these brazen monsters will go to just get their hands on some cold, hard cash.
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, here are the 2016 inductees:
Ron Galati, Philadelphia mobster and body-shop owner, stored deer carcasses, hair and blood at his body shop to stage vehicle crashes in a $5 million scam. Employees would set up the crashes, use the blood to pour on vehicles, and took photographs to provide to insurers.
Deer weren’t the only so-called culprits. Galati also used geese, dogs and concrete chunks.
The scheme was more complex than what was presented on the surface. Investigators discovered that a police officer had been bribed to create fraudulent crash reports, the claims were passed through by a corrupt insurance adjuster, and tow truck drivers vandalized cars to ensure customers would come back for more repairs.
Galati showed no remorse, either. He stated, “I live my life to cheat insurance companies – my high every day is to cheat insurance companies.”
2. “Faulty no-fault con”
In an attempted $179 million no-fault staged-crash ring (the biggest America has ever seen), mastermind Michael Danilovich used hundreds of staged and phantom motor vehicle crashes all around the New York City area, along with the help of crooked MRI, acupuncture and chiropractic clinics who submitted claims for inflated injuries for nonexistent car passengers. He even “employed” recruiters to round up fake crash victims and send them to the crooked clinics for completely unnecessary treatment.
Danilovich will no longer get to indulge in luxury vacations, cars, watches, etc., as he will be spending the next 25 years in federal prison.
3. “Explosive scheme”
This deadly scheme made the Hall of Shame two years in a row, as the perpetrator has officially been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
In an effort to collect a $300,000 insurance payout, Bob Leonard planned on blowing up his home in an arson plot that turned deadly when he leveled most of his neighborhood in Indianapolis.
Bob Leonard and his half-brother, Mark Leonard, rigged a microwave to a timer and filled Bob’s home with natural gas, which led to a blast compared to an asteroid strike after the microwaved finally sparked.
Leonard’s next door neighbors, Jennifer Longworth and Dion Longworth, were both killed in the blast. Jennifer was killed instantly, but Dion suffered a horrible, painful death when a fireball engulfed him while trapped inside his basement. Approximately 80 homes were damaged and/or destroyed, along with dozens others injured (including children).
Leonard’s response to his neighbors’ fiery deaths? “Oh well, they died,” he said.
4. “Swinging Shooter”
John Smiley, a California prison corrections officer, and his wife Cynthia, spent the night at a San Francisco swingers club with daunting consequences. After the Smiley’s and another couple swapped wives, an argument ensued and John Smiley was shot in the back by the opposing husband outside of the club, rendering him a paraplegic.
Instead of revealing the truth, Smiley tried to pass the incident off as a workers’ compensation claim worth $4 million by telling insurers that a parolee with a grudge shot him outside of a restaurant he was leaving with his wife.
Investigators picked up on his jumbled stories and he has been sentenced to eight months in jail.
5. “A leg up?”
Shannon Egeland claimed to have suffered a 20-gauge shotgun blast that blew up and mangled his leg, forcing doctors to amputate his foot while he stopped to help a stranded motorist on a country road in Idaho.
He told his disability insurer that he stopped and got out of his BMW at approximately 2 a.m. when he was hit over the head, shot in the lower leg, and left for dead. Weird, because his wallet, cellphone and BMW were all still at the scene.
Investigators uncovered that Egeland made his own son shoot him to collect a dismemberment policy he had purchase just one week before the incident, which also coincidentally happened a few days prior to start serving a 10 year sentence for mortgage fraud in the state of Oregon.
Egeland is currently awaiting federal sentencing.
6. “Mental Mistake”
Dr. Fernando Mendez-Villamil of Miami, Florida raised red flags when he wrote the most prescriptions for powerful antipsychotic drugs of any mental health doctor in the state of Florida, approximately 97,000, all to Medicaid patients in only two years. Furthermore, approximately 47,000 prescriptions to seniors were also submitted to Medicare in the same timeframe.
The investigation revealed that Mendez-Villamil was trying to steal $60 million in fraudulent claims for the drugs aimed to treat mental illness.
His $1 million mansion, along with 221 paintings, prints, sculptures and more, were seized, and he landed a 12-year prison term.
7. “Starved and alone”
Makayla Norman, 14-year-old Dayton, Ohio teenager, was bed-ridden, unable to speak or move, and relied fully on a caretaker to sustain life, as she was battling cerebral palsy.
Her caretaker nurse, Mollie Parsons, was paid by Medicaid to care for helpless Makayla six days a week, eight hours a day. However, Parsons submitted fraudulent Medicaid claims for homecare without actually caring for Makayla; she was out shopping instead.
Parsons showed up maybe a few times a month, leaving Makayla ignored, starved, abused, covered in filth, lice and open sores, in a dirty diaper, and only 28 pounds when she died and investigators found her body.
Parsons has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
8. “Blood money”
David Nicoll of Parsippany, NJ ran a blood lab, Biodiagnostics Laboratory Services, and orchestrated a $100 million Medicare scam that resulted in the take down of 26 crooked doctors, making it the largest takedown of doctors for insurance crimes in United States history!
Nicoll gave corrupt doctors kickbacks amassing to approximately $4 million to ensure they would send patients for blood testing they didn’t need. He would then overbill insurers.
Nicoll used the money to buy collectible cars, charter private jets, and a $700,000 Manhattan apartment for his girlfriend, and more.
Biodiagnostics plead guilty in June of 2016.
9. “Murder for hire”
Hovanes Maskovian of Los Angeles, California was listed as the beneficiary of ex-boyfriend, Joshua West’s $2.5 million life insurance policy. They spent seven years together as a couple, and Maskovian was going to get that money no matter the circumstances.
Maskovian hired his brother, Hachik Maskovian and a sidekick to murder West, as the policy was still intact after their breakup.
But Joshua West wasn’t giving up without a fight. The hitmen needed a tire iron, knife, teeth, vehicle and firearm before he finally succumbed to his injuries. He was lured to a remote desert location, beaten, bitten, run over by a car, shot in his heart, and had his throat slashed.
Hovanes Maskovian received life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In an effort to combat at the $80 billion per year insurance fraud epidemic, we bring you the face of insurance fraud; a crime in which the public can clearly see is NOT victimless.