Unfortunately, Dr. Rios was not very real in his treatment of accident victims. In fact, the accidents were not real, the victims were not real, instead they were "actors" promised a fast buck for fake claims. They were given scripts to tell doctors and others. Even the damages were not real, the cars had to be damaged after the fact. The police reports were real, though, or at least drafted by a real police officer. Alledgedly, a Pennsylvania State Trooper faked the reports.
The indictment also charges attorney Glori A. Kasner with mail fraud related to two of these schemes, alleging that she helped to fraudulently obtain civil settlement payments in those cases for people who had not been in accidents. At least Kasner’s work was real, even if the accidents were not.
Once the settlement was made the crew took their cut of the award, plus of course their fat fees.
The case broke wide open in 2007, when a tow truck driver and former city police offer were indicted for soliciting people to participate in fictitious accidents. The case was investigated and prosecuted by United States Attorney Michael L. Levy, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk.
“The probe started three years ago when the FBI received a tip about an alleged health care fraud, said Agent Bryan Pacchioli. At almost the same time, city police received a tip about fake auto body repair claims, said Det. Robert DiFrancesco, who is detached to the district attorney's office.
According to reports, the two scams involved the same gang leaderless. The crooks allegedly worked within an informal network, with tow truck drivers knowing which body shops to use, and the fake accident victims learning through fellow participants "which doctors and lawyers would be open to the scheme."
“This entire group presents a sorry picture of people who forgot the basic principle that lying to get money is stealing,” said Levy. “In the case of the attorney and the chiropractor, they are members of professions that demand honesty of their practitioners. Nevertheless, they were comfortable making up facts to make a buck.”
If convicted, the maximum possible sentence for each mail fraud count is 20 years imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, mandatory restitution, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Wzorek.
Faking an accident to sue the insurance company is a bad idea. It constitutes insurance fraud and even when it alledgedly involves community leaders and prominent businessmen like Dr. Steven Rios, attorney Glori Kasner, state trooper Drexel Reid Jr. and your neighborhood tow truck driver Jerry Blasengale, the little guy will pay. Of all of these defendants, Rios will probably do best in prison because he can fix the necks of broken prisoners. Attorney Kasner will do all right if she help the jail house lawyers. Trooper Drexal Reid will get the toughest part of it, cons hate cops. Hanging around a bar of soap won't help. He may be lucky to walk out of the silver bar hotel alive. With over 53 indictments to date, the "actors" who were promised a fast buck may be pulling their profits out of their pockets to hire defense attorneys.