Long Island Man Found Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court Of Scheme To Defraud Insurance Companies By Intentionally Causing Dozens Of Car Crashes
The Defendant Recruited Drivers and Passengers to Crash Vehicles Into Cars Being Driven by Innocent Victims In Order to Submit Bogus Insurance Claims
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that MAXO JEAN was found guilty on Friday, January 31, 2014, by a jury in Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and health care fraud for orchestrating and carrying out a multi-year scheme to intentionally cause more than 30 car crashes, obtain unnecessary medical treatment, and file fraudulent claims for insurance benefits. JEAN was convicted after a one-week trial before U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin, sitting by designation. After JEAN’s conviction, Judge Chin remarked that he was “appalled at the level of corruption” involved in the scheme, and remanded JEAN into the custody of the United States Marshals.
According to the Indictment and the evidence presented at JEAN’s trial:
From 2007 through 2011, JEAN engaged in a scheme to cause more than 30 intentional car crashes in order to fraudulently obtain insurance benefits. JEAN orchestrated the scheme by finding cars, recruiting crews of drivers and passengers, and then sending the crews out to hit cars driven by innocent victims. JEAN paid the drivers and passengers he recruited, and directed them to crash into cars driven by innocent people so that the supposed “accidents” would appear to be real accidents. Following the crashes, JEAN took his recruits to corrupt medical clinics and directed them to submit to unnecessary treatment, including unnecessary surgeries, for their non-existent injuries, so that the treatments could be billed to car insurance companies. JEAN encouraged his recruits to submit to treatments that he thought were likely to result in the largest payments from insurance companies, such as unnecessary back and shoulder surgeries. JEAN and his recruits then filed fraudulent no-fault insurance claims and insurance claims that fraudulently alleged pain and suffering. He profited from the scheme by collecting more than $150,000 in insurance company payouts and in kickbacks from the corrupt medical clinics.
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JEAN, 52, of West Hempstead, New York, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and health care fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. JEAN is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Chin on May 29, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Paul and Alexander J. Wilson are in charge of the prosecution.