mikhail zemlyansky

Mikhail Zemlyansky also known as 'Russian Mike,' branded the 'top fraudster' by authorities.

A day after the Justice Department announced the bust of a massive, $275 million auto fraud ring in New York, the New York State Trial Lawyers continue to block legislation in Albany to crack down on these criminal enterprises, the driver advocacy group New Yorkers State Against Auto Insurance Fraid (NYSAIF) today charged.

Auto insurance fraud is one of the fastest growing crimes in New York. It has cost New York drivers an estimated $1 billion in higher auto insurance premiums over the past five years alone – and in some cases their lives. New York drivers are now paying 53% more than the average American for auto insurance.

Trial lawyers make money off these cases, and the New York State Trial Lawyer Association has repeatedly refused to estimate how much its members are making from them. The trail lawyers have for years blocked sensible reform legislation that would close the loopholes in the state’s no-fault insurance laws that permit widespread auto insurance fraud in the state.

“What are we waiting for in New York?, asked NYSAIF spokesman and former Kings County Assistant District Attorney David Schwartz. “Tomorrow is the anniversary of the murder of a 71-year-old Queens grandmother from a staged auto accident; swastikas were painted on Midwood cars earlier this year to masque auto fraud, and now a $275 million ring has been uncovered – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When is this state going to seriously address this massive and growing criminal activity?”

Law enforcement officials around the state – including each of the five New York City district attorneys – have called for new laws to crack down on auto insurance fraud in New York.

Contact: Pattie Haubner, 212-938-0005


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