Today’s news:

Insurance scam preyed on Asian motorists: Brown

Dozens of people and two corporations were charged in a massive insurance fraud scheme last week for allegedly targeting Asian−American drivers in Flushing and staging car accidents to collect medical insurance payouts, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The DA said more than five dozen people were accused of participating in the scheme, which sought to take advantage of New York state’s no−fault insurance law. Under the law, a person injured in a motor vehicle accident can receive up to $50,000 in coverage for medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

“The defendants in this case are charged with bilking insurance carriers out of more than $1.6 million they submitted for allegedly unnecessary medical services for exaggerated or fabricated injuries,” Brown said.

Brown said 63 defendants — 61 individuals and two corporations — were variously charged with enterprise corruption, insurance fraud, grand larceny, falsifying business records, money laundering, criminal mischief, assault as a hate crime and conspiracy.

Of the total 12 people facing charges of enterprise corruption could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison if convicted, Brown said.

The DA’s office worked with the NYPD and the Federal of Bureau of Investigation on the investigation, which Brown said revealed that the defendants singled out Asian−American drivers in Flushing to execute the scam.

“The predatory scheme carried out by these defendants had a pronounced economic impact, and that’s reason enough to have worked so hard to dismantle it,” FBI Assistant Director Mershon said. “But it also put innocent people at risk — any of whom could have been, and some of whom were, injured. This crew’s greed trumped any concern for the safety of the unsuspecting drivers they targeted and victimized.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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