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Lawyers, police officers and government officials have defrauded insurers for 1 million, 300,000 euro

29 March 2014 / 16:03:31  GRReporter
2245 reads

Lawyers, police officers, businessmen and government officials are involved in a huge fraud against insurance companies. They were discovered by an internal police investigation.

According to the mode of action, frauds were committed via fake accidents and damaged vehicles.

Those arrested include the heads of members of the group, a 44-year-old businessman - owner of a service-station and showroom for cars in Trizinia, the Peloponnese, and his 37-year-old wife.

Four policemen, an employee of the Ministry of Transport, two attorneys and an expert for insurance companies have also been arrested in the same case.

The action and arrests

Within the police operation, 13 members of the group were arrested yesterday morning in Athens, Trizinia, and in Chania and Rethymno on Crete. The police officers work in Attica, Aegina and Crete. A 51-year-old employee of the Transport Directorate of Piraeus, two lawyers, 65 and 35, a 58-year-old expert for insurance companies, a 54-year-old insurer, a 49-year-old car dealer and another 53-year-old man, who was used as a false witness, have also been arrested.

Those arrested are guilty of fraud and forgery affecting various insurance companies via "staging" traffic incidents.

The 44-year-old businessman, leader of the organization, attracted candidate clients via the internet, promising them that his service-station would repair their vehicles free of charge, as well as that he will settle the procedures with the insurance companies.

Together with other members of the organization, every necessary component was prepared illegally - an excuse for the presentation of non-existent losses to insurance companies in order to obtain illegal profits.

With the participation of the police officers involved, fake certificates for crashes were issued with forged signatures of car owners. Moreover, the wife of the businessman and the insurer issued false reports of "friendly understanding" or responsible declarations in which the signatures of drivers were also forged.

Then, in collaboration with the two lawyers, claims to insurance companies were filed, concealing the allegedly damaged vehicles,  the result of which being that the companies were unable to make the necessary inquiries (chronology of the collision, damage costs, repairs, etc.). Thus, huge benefits of up to 28,000 euro per case were paid.

They contacted all insurance companies

In order to conceal the “staged” accidents and the fraud, the criminal organization carefully distributed the accidents among almost all insurance companies operating on the Greek market, while using a variety of deficiencies in control procedures.

The material collected by the police investigation, carried out by the Internal Cases Department, exceeds 25,000 pages and 550 cases of traffic accidents. A cross-analysis of the data has also been made. The conclusions are as follows:

• 140 cases of fake crashes have been identified;

• economic damage to at least 27 insurance companies exceeding 1.3 million euro has been caused;

• pictures of vehicles which were damaged prior to that have been used in more than 30 cases and the damage amounted to 100,000 euro;

• 40 cases of the same damage with different registration plates have been presented to various insurance companies, and the damage amounts to 250,000 euro;

• 100 fake bulletins of crashes with forged signatures of those involved have been issued - the damage amounts to 750,000 euro;

• fake driver's licenses, powers of attorney, etc. have been used in 90 cases. The damage amounts to 600,000 euro.

Within the investigation, the following was discovered and seized:

• fake powers of attorney and multiple documents of the same type

• a pistol and a revolver owned by a 48-year-old sergeant

• 15 cars, of which ten were involved in traffic accidents and repeatedly paid huge cash benefits, as well as the other five, which were presented as the vehicles which caused the road accident.

A 47-year-old retired police officer and a 45-year-old expert are defendants in the same case.

According to the investigation, employees of insurance companies responsible for the verification of the settlement and payment of benefits are not involved.

Today, those arrested will be taken to the Prosecutor’s Office in Piraeus.

Tags: fake car accidents insurance fraud arrested
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