Drilling for dollars

Good Morning AmericaABC’S Good Morning America gathered a group of victims of Pennsylvania dentist Alireza Asgari for a report that aired Monday. Their stories were gruesome as one by one, they recounted the malpractice Asgari committed on their mouths.

Most of the procedures were not needed. They were performed for the sheer greed of bilking insurers.

Not all doctors and dentists who commit fraud also commit malpractice. But it stands to reason that a medical provider who cuts corners on the business side of a practice probably will cut corners elsewhere — and that includes the quality of care.

Watch the Good Morning America report. More information on Asgari, a 2005 inductee into the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame, is available here.

NYC school vans insured in Pennsylvania?

school vansLast night Fox News in New York (Fox5 – WNYW) aired an investigative report about a van service for the city school system that appears to be committing underwriting fraud.

Investigative reporter John Deutzman found that vans that transport kids to and from a magnet school in Brooklyn are licensed and insured in Pennsylvania. Deutzman noted that local officials are powerless to do anything about the fraud, but that a state investigation is underway.

Watch the report on the station’s website. It’s very well done. Deutzman, by the way, received an award from the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud in 2006 for a great piece on auto underwriting fraud in New York. The fraud-fighting community needs more journalism like this.

Update (January 23) — The guy in the photograph above — along with five members of his family — was charged today with using a Pennsylvania address to falsely obtain driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and insurance coverage for a total of 14 vehicles, including vans linked to an illegal school bus operation in Brooklyn, NY. The charges were brought by Pennsylvania AG Tom Corbett.