2012's Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame

Larcenous arson 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 Crooks fingered

Two cohorts sliced off a mentally disabled man’s 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 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Patients of nose doctor Mark Weinberger ended up with painfully damaged sinuses from worthless and outdated surgeries the Pittsburgh-area man performed after cursory exams.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 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 Dead-cat con

Yevgeny Samsonov, of Tacoma, Wash., told an insurer that his treasured cat Tom had died in a car crash. He wanted $20,000—but Tom didn’t exist. Samsonov had downloaded photos of two different white cats from the Internet, lied that both photos were Tom and somehow figured the insurer wouldn’t catch on.

House of horrors 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 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 she’d stolen. Her motive: $100,000 in life insurance.