LOS ANGELES --- About 200 Los Angeles police officers raided homes throughout the city March 6 to serve arrest warrants for more than 40 people suspected of involvement in a long-running car insurance scam, the L.A. Times reported.
The case against the suspects, built over the course of two years by detectives in the LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division, includes documentation that Curtis H. Connor, his family and their accomplices bilked $512,000 from 10 insurance companies, police said.
One claim alone cost State Farm nearly $137,000 for faked injuries and vehicle damage, police said.
However, insurance investigators suspect that the ring may actually be responsible for pocketing several million dollars over more than two decades of scam operations, the Times reported.
According to police, the ring would typically buy a cheap, beat-up car at an auction, register it and insure it with multiple companies (often using aliases or stolen identities), recruit people to pose as passengers, concoct a story about a traffic collision and use photos of previously damaged cars to strengthen their story. The fake victims would be sent to a chiropractor (Connor's daughter) who would order elaborate treatments for the fake victims. Lawyers would also join in to submit claims and demand payments for injuries and car damage, police said.
Connor and several of his family members operated MB Automotive, a body shop in South Los Angeles that "repaired" the cars involved in the scam, police said. In addition to Connor and his chiropractor daughter, other family members allegedly involved in the scam ring included another daughter and two sons who posed as accident victims.