Two attorneys and two surgeons have been indicted by a federal grand jury on mail- and wire-fraud costs for allegedly collaborating in a five-year, $31 million insurance coverage rip-off during which “extraordinarily poor” and infrequently homeless or drug-addicted folks in New York Metropolis had been recruited to stage trip-and-fall accidents, the United States Justice Division mentioned Wednesday.
The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Manhattan and the FBI’s New York workplace collectively introduced the unsealed indictment following the arrests of legal professional Marc Elefant and Drs. Andrew Dowd and Sady Ribeiro. The fourth defendant, legal professional George Constantine, is anticipated to give up on Thursday, U.S. Lawyer Audrey Strauss mentioned within the announcement.
Elefant’s legal professional, Michael Bachner of Bachner & Associates, mentioned Elefant denies the fees and “acted in good religion and in reliance on the data offered to him.”
Attorneys for Constantine and Ribeiro didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Dowd’s legal professional, Aaron Mysliwiec of Edel & Mysliwiec, declined to remark.
The unsealed indictment alleges that, between 2013 and 2018, conspiracy members would establish enterprise places with cracked sidewalks, potholes, or different tripping hazards and recruit needy people to stage accidents there. The people – known as “Sufferers” – had been required to endure surgical procedure to maximise the worth of their claims, and obtained post-surgical stipends of $1,000 or $1,500, prosecutors allege.
The claims had been then referred to attorneys, together with Constantine and Elefant, to file and settle lawsuits in opposition to the companies and insurers, the indictment says. Constantine negotiated settlements of at the least $20 million, prosecutors allege. (No determine was specified for Elefant.)
The “sufferers” usually noticed little to none of that cash as a result of their medical and authorized bills had been fronted by litigation funders at excessive charges of curiosity, the indictment says.
The remainder of the case file remained below seal on Wednesday. The motion has been assigned to Senior U.S. District Decide Loretta Preska.
The case is U.S. v. Constantine, Elefant, Dowd and Ribeiro, U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York No. 21-cr-530.
For the U.S.: Nicholas Chiuchiolo, Nicholas Folly, and Alexandra Rothman of the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Manhattan
For Constantine: Marc Gann of Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry
For Elefant: Michael Bachner of Bachner & Associates
For Dowd: Aaron Mysliwiec of Miedel & Mysliwiec
For Ribeiro: Christine Delince of Onaodowan & Delince