People like them are the main reason why honest insurance claims are under such scrutiny in the last couple of years. A ring of 13 car insurance fraudsters staging virtual accidents to collect checks from insurance companies was arrested today.
Among those arrested were a 44 year old body shop owner, his 37 year old wife, four policemen, two lawyers, a 49 year old car dealer and a 53 year old false witness. The group was active in various cities in the Attica prefecture and in Crete.
The group had a well laid out plan which included defrauding both the insurance companies and car owners gullible enough to trust them. They started by posting ads on the Net, attracting car drivers who needed their vehicles repaired immediately after an accident. The body shop owners leading the ring offered them that, falsifying their signatures to claim a series of non existing damages from the insurance companies.
Their accomplices prepared the necessary documentation for all sorts of damages, using the help of the accused policemen to present falsified accident reports with forged signatures. Along with a 54 year old female insurance agent, they presented fake statements of friendly settlement offered by the insurance companies.
Subsequently, the group used the two lawyers in their payroll to submit lawsuits against the companies, by withholding the vehicles, so that the insurance investigators could not examine them for their reports.
This way, the ring managed to collect up to 28,000 euros from the insurance companies for each case. According to the police, there are close to 140 files of fake accidents records of which the ring kept. The files have been used to defraud at least 27 different insurance companies of around 1.3 million euros.
Apart from the fact that no scum is beyond Greek ingenuity, it makes one wonder what the accused could have achieved if they put their minds to a legitimate business. But as recent history has shown us, many people in this country rarely let a potential fraud opportunity go to waste.