A driver rockets his $1-million Bugatti into a salty lagoon … Two kids perish in a home arson fire their own mother set … A cancer doctor pumps healthy patients with toxic chemotherapy in a $125-million insurance plot.
These masters of disaster are among the eight worst insurance criminals of 2014. The extreme schemers were chosen by the Coalition. Their names and crimes were released today as the newest members of the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame.
The No-Class of 2014 reveals the year’s most brazen, bungling or vicious convicted insurance swindlers. All commanders in thief were convicted or had other legal closure last year.
One of America’s largest financial crimes, insurance fraud steals at least $80 billion annually. The Hall of Shame serves a useful anti-crime purpose. Sharing true-life crimes is a form of story-telling. Science shows that people retain more details and understand stories far better than raw data alone.
So it’s nice to say fraud is an $80-billion annual crime — the Coalition’s conservative estimate.
But people sit up when they hear how Andy House blasted that rare Bugatti Veyron into the lagoon for a $1-million insurance score. It’s also worth a chuckle or two. Same with punk rocker Christopher Inserra’s wild fist-pumping on stage while telling his comp insurer the arm was hurt and useless.
Then get more serious and learn how how Angela Garcia left her infant girls to die in a house fire she set for insurance money.
Or see how Suzanne Basso tortured her retarded husband Buddy Musso for weeks to steal a life-insurance payout, and you’ll never view insurance fraud the same way again.
Putting a human face on insurance crime moves fraud from a stat to a crime against all of us. That’s why we can all rally to fight insurance fraud simply by staying honest, being alert to scams and reporting crimes in action. Together, we can turn the corner on this crime.
About the author: Jim Quiggle is director of communications for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.