49 From NJ, PA Arrested In $1.1M Multi

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49 From NJ, PA Arrested In .1M Multi-State Car Insurance Bust: Officials insurance

Forty-nine people from New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been arrested in a $1.1M car insurance bust, officials said. They were busted this week following investigations by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section.

The charges are part of a November sweep conducted by the Insurance Fraud Section, which is the largest law enforcement entity in Pennsylvania with specific authority to investigate and prosecute cases of insurance fraud. The total potential fraud involved in these cases is more than $1.1 million, according to a release from Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer.

"Insurance fraud results in billions of dollars of losses each year," Attorney General Beemer said. "This type of fraud also leads to higher insurance rates for everyone, which is why it is important for our office to be diligent in investigating and prosecuting these crimes."

The charges announced today involve some of the most common types of insurance fraud. Below is a list of the defendants, the charges filed against them and a description of their alleged criminal acts. The cases are all pending.

In 1990, the state legislature made insurance fraud a serious crime in Pennsylvania, punishable by heavy fines and stiff prison sentences.

In 1994, legislation was enacted in Pennsylvania establishing the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) and a Fraud Trust Fund. All insurance companies authorized to transact business in Pennsylvania pay an annual assessment into the fund. The funds provide financial support to the Office of Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Section and other law enforcement agencies to support insurance fraud investigations and prosecutions.

Private citizens can report allegations of insurance fraud using an online form or by calling the IFPA’s hotline at 1-888-565-IFPA (4372).

Consumers with a complaint involving an insurance company that does not involve fraud should contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department at 1-877-881-6388 or the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.