The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) -- Four police officers were charged Thursday in an
alleged scheme to cheat insurance companies out of nearly $230,000
with fake car accident reports.
The officers -- Trinidad Martinez; her brother, Julian Martinez;
Ernesto Colon and Irvin Maldonado -- were arraigned on charges
including receiving bribes, grand larceny and insurance fraud. Each
was released without bail.
The officers were arrested Wednesday and suspended from the New York
Stuart London, an attorney for Colon and Maldonado, said both
officers "are confident that, once this matter is fully litigated,
they'll be exonerated."
An attorney for the Martinez siblings, John Patten, said his clients
"deny any wrongdoing."
Bronx prosecutors accused the officers of fabricating reports about
accidents that never happened and forging signatures of unsuspecting
fellow officers. In some cases the officers allegedly accepted
payoffs of $250 to $1,000 per report.
The reports were used by other defendants to file and collect
thousands of dollars in fraudulent medical claims with Allstate,
State Farm and other insurance companies.
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If convicted, the officers could face sentences of up to seven years in prison.