Assemblyman David Weprin (D -Queens) joined New Yorkers Stand Against Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF) at a press conference to fight auto insurance scams in New York State and demand tougher penalties for those that engage in such criminal acts.
Nine years ago on March 22, 2003, Alice Ross, a 71-year-old wife and grandmother, was killed as the result of a staged auto accident. This "accident" was arranged and intentionally committed by individuals hoping to cash-in on the accident by filing fraudulent insurance claims, said Assemblyman Weprin. The loss of revenue to taxpayers resulting from this type of fraud is staggering, but the loss of human life is simply unacceptable. Im proud to have introduced a bill that would impose tougher criminal penalties on those who engage in staged accidents and make it punishable as a class D felony.
New York State licensed drivers pay the highest premiums in the country because of loopholes in the states no-fault insurance laws. All attempts to close these loopholes have failed.
"Public safety is at issue here. New York drivers have been ripped off to the tune of $1 billion since 2005 from these crooks, but common-sense legislation to stop these crimes is mysteriously shelved year after year, said NYSAIF spokesman former Brooklyn assistant district attorney David Schwartz. There is an urgent need for law enforcement officials struggling to crack down on this alarming and fast growing criminal conspiracy to have the tools at their disposal to do so.
The Justice Department sent a strong message to these scammers with Wednesdays bust of a massive $275 million auto insurance fraud ring in New York State. NYSAIF is urging the New York State Legislature to go even further in saving human lives by passing both Alices Law and no-fault insurance reform.