2012's Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame
Larcenous arson: Seven firefighters were seriously hurt when a burning office building collapsed on them. One was paralyzed, and several had crushed bones. Calvin Jones had helped set the Detroit building on fire with gasoline for an insurance payout.
Crooks fingered: Two cohorts sliced off a mentally disabled mans hand with a tree-trimming saw to collect more than $670,000 in insurance money. Porky Weaver trusted one cohort like a father figure, who exploited that friendship in a crime that Porky only dimly understood.
Smelly sinus ploy: Patients of nose doctor Mark Weinberger ended up with painfully damaged sinuses from worthless and outdated surgeries the Pittsburgh-area man performed after cursory exams. Weinberger stole millions of insurance dollars, bought a yacht and lived a princely lifestyle at his patients expense.
Airbag con deflated: Dai Zhensong tried to flood the United States with useless knockoff Chinese airbags from his base in Chattanooga, Tenn. He thus exposed innocent motorists to potential death or injury during crashes. Several of his airbags spewed flames and shrapnel at crash dummies in federal tests after Zhensong was busted. Crooked body shops and others typically install such knockoffs but charge insurers full price.
Dead-cat con: Yevgeny Samsonov, of Tacoma, Wash., told an insurer that his treasured cat Tom had died in a car crash. He wanted $20,000but Tom didnt exist. Samsonov had downloaded photos of two different white cats from the Internet, lied that both photos were Tom and somehow figured the insurer wouldnt catch on.
House of horrors: Seniors were malnourished and unwashed, living amid rotting garbage, filth and rodents in nursing homes run by George Houser. The Sandy Springs, Ga., native meanwhile spent millions of stolen Medicare dollars on real estate, luxury cars, vacations and other goods.
Poisoned dessert: Alan Duval died sitting in a chair outside, his system full of booze and drugs. It looked like suicide until dogged investigators discovered his ex-wife Tami had lured him to her home and fed him his favorite sugary dessert called dirt pudding. Tami laced it with more than 80 times the normal dose of morphine and muscle relaxants shed stolen. Her motive: $100,000 in life insurance.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud released its annual no-class list of failed fraudsters. This year's notable foes includes arsonists, nose doctors and worse.
Photos courtesy of Fotolia and Thinkstock.