Philadelphia Slip & Fall Insurance Fraud Scheme Exposed
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams announced April 23, 2014, that a massive insurance fraud scheme had been uncovered in Philly and that 46 people had been arrested so far in conjunction with the investigation.
Andrew Gaber, an attorney from Center City, was considered to be the leader of the fraud ring. He took his own life allegedly after being informed that he was being charged as the ringleader. Now his more than 40 co-defendants await their days in court.
The scheme involved people faking slip and fall accidents over a seven-year period in an effort to win compensation from insurance companies. According to the grand jury testimony, the group staged slip and fall accidents at various locations, defrauding over 20 insurance companies out of nearly $400,000.
According to Williams, people who were originally fake claimants became runners and organizers of the accidents. Runners were paid $100 to $500 each time they brought in a new claim, according to Williams. Currently, 22 have entered guilty pleas, while 23 other alleged runners remain at large.
The grand jury said that the runners often targeted people staying at homeless shelters. It also reported that Gaber trained the false claimants to go immediately to a hospital after staging a fall on a sidewalk with many visible cracks.
This is obviously corrupt and illegal in many ways. First, it’s illegal to falsify clams against insurance companies. Second, it’s illegal and unethical for an attorney to hire runners and encourage insurance fraud.
That being said, slip and fall accidents happen legitimately all the time throughout the region. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a slip and fall accident, talk to a qualified lawyer who can determine if your case merits compensation.
At the Law Offices of Craig A. Altman, our attorneys are highly experienced and knowledgeable about Pennsylvania and New Jersey personal injury law. If you or a loved one has sustained a legitimate injury, you may have legal recourse available. Contact us today for a free consultation.