Colossal crash ring in permanent reverse

By James Quiggle
December 23, 2015

Dodgy insurance claims for thousands of injured drivers and passengers flooded auto insurers during a reign of error by a Russian-American crime ring working the New York City area.

Mikhail Zemlyansky masterminded the largest no-fault auto scheme ever charged. New York’s streets must’ve seemed like a giant bumper-car ring.

His crooked assembly line churned out $279-million worth of false injury claims from real and phantom car wrecks. Federal agents infiltrated his ring and broke down Zemlyansky’s vast criminal enterprise.

Zemlyansky is a Ukrainian native known as “Russian Mike.” Most ring members were of Russian-American descent. Among them were 10 doctors and three lawyers on the take.

The doctors sold out their professions to rubber-stamp bogus crash treatments.

The Long Island man erected a string of sham medical clinics that supposedly specialized in treating crash injuries. He was the secret puppeteer, illegally maneuvering the clinic operations.

Zemlyansky installed a crooked doctor named Tatyana Gabinskaya as stooge owner and operator of seven clinics. She earned $10,000 each month just to sign false medical paperwork for worthless and inflated treatment claims.

The lawyers harassed auto insurers with inflated claims. His lawyers coached patients how to fake injuries, and sued insurers.

Mass-produced claims

Recruiters were bribed $2,000-$3,000 for each real and fake crash patient they brought in from the streets.

The crooked clinics mass-produced insurance claims. Staff saw up to 150 patients a day. Patients received the same “modality treatments.” That meant physical therapy or acupuncture, often up to five times a week per patient. Same with useless MRIs, X-rays, orthopedics and medical supplies such as neck braces.

Zemlyansky cavorted in limos, bought jewels, took shopping sprees at Louis Vuitton and Saks, and took luxury vacations to Mexico and Atlantic City.

Two NYPD cops infiltrated his ring by posing as crash victims. Federal prosecutors took his ring apart, convicting 37 ring members. Among them were the 10 doctors and three attorneys. Zemlyansky faces up to 100 years in federal prison when sentenced.

This case is a stellar example of how teamwork among the feds, NYPD, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and major insurers put one of the nation’s most-prolific automobile out of business.

The turbo-charged theft machine now has a permanent home in the junkyard of failed insurance plots.

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