2003 Insurance Fraud

Hall of Shame

Rev. Roland Gray insisted insurance fraud was his spiritual calling. But now he’ll render unto Caesar a prison stay for raking in $500,000 in insurance money by staging nearly 200 car accidents, plus fake slip-and-fall injuries in hotels and retail stores. Gray recruited parishioners and even his brother, who’s also a minister. Many cars supposedly crashed, ran off the road or collided with deer or pedestrians. Some cronies claimed they were hurt in four crashes on the same day. Read full story

Shaul Debbi, a New York eye surgeon, routinely performed needless eye operations on mentally ill people living in squalid adult homes. His treatments ranged from cataract surgeries to laser operations on people with perfectly healthy eyes. He billed insurers for more than 10,000 bogus services, including 900 times when he was out of town. Read full story

Prescott Sigmud tried to blow up his father for life-insurance money. The Washington, D.C.-area man planted bombs in his father’s SUV. But Prescott’s brother Wright borrowed the car and triggered the bombs when he sat in the driver seat. The SUV was gutted, and Wright received severe burns and other injuries. He received 32 years in prison. Read full story

Gaylan Sweet, an Allstate claims adjuster, issue claim checks for the death of Ruth Brown and another bogus child. Sweet invented police reports, doctor reports and even autopsy reports. According to the report, Ruther Brown watched helplessly as his son Ruther Jr. was killed by a hit-and-run driver at an Encinitas, Calif. intersection. But Ruther Jr. didn’t exist. Nor did the driver, witnesses or even the intersection. Gaylan Sweet received a five-year sentence. Read full story

Curtis Wharton said two hijackers stole his car and killed his wife Sheila. He’d hired a hitman to kill her for real — after she backed out of a plan to fake her death for $2.5 million in life-insurance money. Ironically, they were inspired by a national TV expose about how people in other countries can easily buy death certificates in Haiti for fraud schemes. Read full story

John Veysey torched up to four houses, and killed his first wife Patricia for life insurance money. Veysey’s second wife Deserie and their son John nearly died in one flaming home. He drugged Deserie so she’d pass out, but firefighters saved her. Investigators believe Veysey was ready to murder his third wife Callie after taking out a life policy on her just before he was busted. Veysey has 110 years to learn new job skills in prison. Read full story

Richard Jamieson bilked nearly 3,000 people out of more than $105 million by selling fraudulent viaticals. Jamieson helped dying people, often with AIDS or HIV, lie about their health so they could buy life policies. Insurers cancelled the policies, however, after learning of the con. Investors lost everything while Jamieson bought fancy homes, boats, cars and other stuff. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Read full story

Marc Rossi, a public insurance adjuster, torched at least six buildings — endangering firefighters along the way. Rossi bribed one firefighter to let a building burn longer so he’d get a higher commission. He also bribed a cop to let him illegally cross police lines at his other arsons so he could hustle the victims for his adjusting business. Read full story

James Lee Graff launched one of America’s most brazen health insurance schemes of the last 10 years. He sold phony health coverage to more than 30,000 working Americans and their families throughout the U.S. The total damage: than $42 million in stolen premiums and medical bills that ill policyholders had to pay from their own pockets when his coverage turned out to be fake. Read full story

Read about previous year’s inductees to the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame: