6 NYPD employees arrested as FBI cracks fraud ring
They are accused of allegedly providing medical insurance scammers with vehicle accident victims' confidential information
Stephen Rex Brown And Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
NEW YORK CITY — Six current and former NYPD employees, which included one cop and five 911 operators, were arrested by the feds as authorities smashed a massive $18 million New York insurance fraud operation, the Daily News learned Thursday.
Police Officer Yaniris Deleon was taken into custody in Manhattan while on duty Wednesday after federal agents surrounded her with assault weapons drawn, sources with knowledge of the case said.
She is among 27 defendants in an over-arching medical insurance fraud investigation that also included nurses at city hospitals and runners that reached out to car accident victims, officials said.
Deleon, five 911 operators and a supervising 911 operator allegedly provided the medical insurance scammers with names, phone numbers and confidential information about car accident victims. The runners then reached out to the victims and steered them toward clinics that would bill medical insurance companies for treatments and procedures they didn’t need.
The NYPD employees and nurses would get paid for giving the scam artists names and numbers of victims who were encouraged to visit lawyers and medical offices on their payroll in both New York and New Jersey. The doctors and lawyers would then bilk medical insurance companies for work that was never done or work that was completely unnecessary.
The scammers received about $3,000 a referral to attorneys and shady doctors, according to court papers. The group made about 6,000 successful referrals over the last five years, netting about $18 million, officials said.
The names, addresses and contact numbers for about 60,000 car accident victims were steered to the scam artists over the last five years, officials said.
The NYPD employees include 911 operators Angela Myers, Latifa Abdul-Khaliq, Shakeema Foster, Kourtnei Williams and 911 operator supervisor Makkah Shabazz, officials said.
Five of the NYPD employees were immediately suspended after their arrest, officials said. Abdul-Khaliq resigned from the department in May.
Deleon, who sources said recently had a baby, is accused of providing the leaders of the scheme with the names and numbers of two dozen car accident victims. Williams also provided the the scammers with 30 names. The defendants would send the names over online messaging systems like whatsapp, officials said.
She and the other NYPD employees were told they would be paid about $4,000 a month and make anywhere between $24,000 and $30,000 "off the books” if they kept the fraudsters flush with names.
The scam, led by Anthony Rose, has been running since 2014, officials said. When he received the names, Rose, who also went by the name Todd Chambers, would tell the runners to target car accident victims in minority communities.
“The hood is number one,” Rose told the runners. “All that Manhattan s----, those people got attorneys. We need all the hood cases. (The) Bronx hood, they...it’s poor... those cases. Those insurance policies go by demographics.”
When they reached out to the victims, the runners would claim they were from a group affiliated with the New York Department of Transportation and obtained their names and numbers through a “personal injury hotline.”
Deleon is normally assigned to the 42nd Precinct in the Melrose section of the Bronx, but had been assigned to “barricade duty” in Manhattan when she was apprehended by the feds, sources said.
All of the defendants are expected to appear in Manhattan federal court Thursday afternoon. They are facing charges of medical fraud and wrongful disclosure of healthcare information.