User-agent: * Allow: / Legal news, political opinion, Satire, and lawyer thinking by Tim Paynter, Attorney at Law: 2010-02-21

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cash back at closing sends investor and appraiser to prison gonzalez and westergom

Cash back at closing deal nets real estate investor
$6,000,000 bucks!
Appraiser Gary Westergom to prison!

Juan Carlos Gonzalez was a mover and shaker in Jacksonville real estate circles. He is a sophisticated real estate investor with a knack at what makes the mortgage man’s pen go click, click, click! His tactics were not overly inventive. Unfortunately for Juan, his real estate to riches plan got him free room and board for seven years!

"the investor walks out of closing with money in his pocket"

Gonzalez was an expert at 130% financing. Some people call it “cash back at closing”. The technique is simple. Find a property at a fire sale price, have it appraised for true market value, then ask the lender to fund based upon the appraised value. If it all works out the investor walks out of closing with money in his pocket and nothing down on a new investment to add to his portfolio.

The problem is, most lenders are not excited about handing money back to a guy who is speculating on real estate. Lenders figure real estate investing is a risky business. If it all goes right the investor makes a mint! The bank just gets it’s interest. If it all goes bad, the bank loses it’s shirt and the investor hires a bankruptcy attorney to get him out of the problems.  Most banks want the buyer to have a significant down payment.
When is cash back at closing legal?

"I know of only a handful of situations in which receiving cash back at closing is legal:

1. You refinance your mortgage to cash out some or all of the equity in your home.

2. Your agent agrees to refund a portion of his or her commission at closing.

3. The buyer makes a deposit into the escrow fund, obtains a 100% loan, and then receives a credit back. This isn’t considered cash back at closing, because it is the buyer’s own money.

"Let’s say I am selling my house for $300,000.00...I am offering 6% commission $18,000 is coming off of my net.  My house is taking a long time to sell.

What I need to do is lower the commission and offer the buyer an incentive

1. We’re going to keep the price at $300,000.00

2. We are going to offer a qualified Buyer a cash rebate of $7,500.00

3. My Agent and the Buyer’s Agent (if any) are going to split the remainder of the commission"
Based upon the aggressive stance the government is taking in protecting the integrity of the institution of lending in the U.S., my suggestion is you consult legal counsel before entering into creative financing deals.  You know an attorney is being cautious when he advises you to seek advice.  Tim Paynter
"An appraiser can sometimes be convinced to to puff his appraised values"

The solution? If you do enough business with anyone they are likely to favor you when it comes to bending the rules. According to court records, Juan Carlos got into bed with a real estate appraiser. Normally, appraisers are unbiased judges of property value. With a little wining and dining, an appraiser can sometimes be convinced to to puff his appraised values or over look details a lender should know, like maybe the purchase price and the appraised price are worlds apart!

Enter Barry C. Westergom, a 60 year old real estate appraiser in Jacksonville, Florida who owned or worked at JAX Appraisals, Inc.   Barry probably regrets the day he met Juan Carlos Gonzales. His association turned out to make him a fair amount of money and cost him a fair amount of time behind bars!  Here is the original indictment!

Eventually, the profit incentive went far beyond multiple $600 appraisal fees from a well healed client. Westergom eventually acted as a Juan Carlos bird dog. In one deal, he found a good investment prospect out of the area with a motivated seller according to the FBI.  The contract was negotiated for $490,000 on a house that purportedly was worth a lot more money.

"Most people who have $29,000,000 in mortgage loans have a large nest egg to back the debt"

At least Westergom said so. He negotiated the deal for the purchase and earned himself $12,250 bucks as the broker. Next, he got an appraisal fee for $550.00. 

An appraiser has the duty of impartiality, says Chet Boddy, Ethics and the Appraiser.  When the broker and the appraiser are the same person it is likely a violation of an appraiser's duty to remain impartial. The objectives of each party are usually opposed.  The broker wants to sell the house and get his commish, the appraiser is protecting the bank's interest to insure the buyer is not paying too much and the lender is not lending more than their guidelines permit. 

When Westergom acted as the broker and appraiser it made it a lucrative deal for almost everyone, except the seller who caved on the price heavily, and the bank who unknowlingly took all of the risk!  You can read about another seller who took it in the shorts, cliek for a story about short sale fraud here!

Gonzalez submitted first and second mortgage loan applications for the house reflecting a sales price of $625,000. The sales price was really $490,000.00  Fraud!   Gonzalez also submitted altered bank account statements showing significantly larger cash balances in the account than actually existed.  Fraud!  Most people who have $29,000,000 in mortgage loans have a large nest egg to back the debt.  

"The numbers worked for some fast pocket change, if $134K is pocket change, so the agent proposed the deal for his buyer"

The contracts were signed, the lender approved the loans and, at the closing, Gonzalez received $134,000, which was listed on closing documents as an "Assignment of Contract Fee." Westergom received $12,250 as a broker’s fee and his $550 appraisal fee.

The broker who had the house listed must have thought the hand of God reached from the heavens to arrange this sale. In a tough real estate market where buyers are choosy and many properties remain unsold, neither the “realtor”, Westergom, nor the buyer, Gonzalez, ever looked at the house before purchasing it, according to sources. The numbers worked for some fast pocket change, if $134K is pocket change, so the agent proposed the deal for his buyer.

"This was one of the deals that would put each in prison"

It is not illegal for a lender to give a buyer cash back at closing. Buyers and Lenders can enter into any type of financing arrangement they wish. What cannot pass under the law is for the buyer to fool the lender by submitting false contracts, false bank statements and signing HUD-1 documents which misrepresent the true nature of the purchase price and financing. Nor can appraisers over-value a house or fail to disclose material information to the lender, like the true purchase price of the property when they know.
Complaint Details with State of Florida for Barry C. Westergom
Displayed is a listing of public complaints regarding the person or entity selected. Any person may inspect the case file and may obtain copies of any of the materials in the file. The Division does not represent your private interests. Any action taken by the Division will be on behalf of the State of Florida.

Number Class Incident Date Status Disposition Disposition Date Discipline Discipline Date
2006005474 Licensed Activity 01/20/2006 Final Order Final Order 01/03/2007 Revoke License 10/03/2006
2002004607 Licensed Activity 05/22/2002 Final Order Stipulation 06/07/2005 Fine 08/11/2005
2001500548 Licensed Activity 09/10/2001 Final Order Nolle Pros 03/05/2007
As Gonzalez and Westergom congratulated themselvers on being sophisticated real estate investors who know how to get deals done, little did they know what the future held in store.  This was one of the deals that would put each in prison.

"He was able to pocket over $6.2 million buckaroos"

Before the walls came crashing down on these movers and shakers in the real estate business, Gonzalez acquired about 55 houses using the technique. He was able to pocket over $6.2 million buckaroos. Westergom made about $100,000 in commissions and fees. The conspirators’ fraudulent acts resulted in lenders extending more than $29,272,000 in first and second mortgage loans.

With the Florida real estate market crashing, likely any gains made were lost. The biggest loss of all was freedom. Gonzalez, who put $6 million in his pocket got 7 years in the pokey. Westergom, who put $100,000 in his pocket, got 4 years. Which man had the better attorney?

Get rich quick in real estate guys don’t get the point. First, the high flyers often never get rich. So, me catastrophic event, often a downward shift in the market, puts their investment portfolio under water. That is when their fraudulent activities are easy to detect because their mortgages go into default.  Various organizations are watching for mortgage fraud, including the Mortgage Fruad Blog, the Legal Corner, the National Mortgage News, Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud News and Information, Real Estate Fraud and Mortgage Fraud News and Information, and a varitey of governmental task forces like the Mortgage Fraud Task Force.  They rely on private consultants like Curt Novoy who has been there before and his company Corporate Mortgage Advisors.

"All he did was propose creative financing concepts to greedy real estate investors"

The sum of $29,000,000 in mortgage money is a fair chunk of change to go into default. It didn’t take long to spot a rat in Juan Carlos Gonzalez. As investigators reviewed the files, a prominent document stuck out in most of them.  The appraisal supporting the loans on the 55 houses was completed in most cases by Barry C. Westergom!  The Hud-1 settlement statements testified to the rest of the story about how an illegal cash back at closing scheme works. 

Real estate is an excellent investment tool if you know how to use it right.  Cut corners and you could have a lot of time on your hands.  For a comprehensive look into conservative real estate investing check out my blog, Real estate millionaire!

Meanwhile, some real estate seminar guy was sitting on his yacht sipping margaritas. He wasn’t the guy who borrowed the money and defrauded the lender. All he did was propose creative financing concepts to greedy real estate investors! Maybe you better buy a yacht!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Denver Aurora Colorado Resident Pleads Guilty to Terrorism & support of al Qaeda

Najibullah Zazi from Afghanistan
Pleads Guilty

  • Conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction

  • Conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country

  • Providing material support to al Qaeda.
You never know when a terrorist moves next door. Najibullah Zazi, A 25 year old resident of Aurora, Colorado and a lawful permanent resident turned out to be just that.  Who would have suspected his he led a secret life as a spy and planed to commit mass murder in the New York subway?

At the end of 2008, Naji and some compatriots decided to fight with the Taliban and against the United States of America in Afghanistan. Naji took that action after being admitted to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Naji Zazi departed New York for his home country of Afghanistan.

"The folks at Al Qaeda spotted a diamond in the rough"

The folks at Al Qaeda spotted a diamond in the rough. Why send a lawful permanent resident from the U.S. to fight along side the Taliban? Any religious fanatic can do that. Naji’s handlers had bigger plans for him.

Shortly, Naji found himself in the Waziristan region of Pakistan learning how to use various kinds of weapons. In the process of his indoctrination the idea was posed: Why not be a martyr and return to the US for a little suicidal terrorist fun? Naji thought that would be a pretty good idea.

"You don’t have to be too bright to blow yourself up"

Al Qaeda went to work right away on the next life to be sacrificed in the name of Allah. Naji received training on constructing explosives to blow himself up, with the grand idea of blowing himself up and taking with him a lot of American citizens who didn’t plan to be martyrs.   What these guys don't get is every time they attack the US they make heroes out of the victims!

During the al Qaeda training session with Najibullah Zazi there were in-depth discussions about the planned attacks, including subway trains in New York City.  Why the subway?  After several failed efforts and a lot of passengers holding their noses from smelly socks while passing security, perhaps Al Qaeda gave up on airliners. Let’s hope so.

You don’t have to be too bright to blow yourself up and Najibullah Zazi proved to fit into this category. Or maybe he figured his emails were protected by the constitutional notions of privacy of the country he was determined to destroy. At any rate, the new al Qaeda recruit sent notes to himself via email about the planned attack. Anyone can be absent minded and one tends to get a little nervous as they contemplate immortality.

“Boy Scout camp” terrorist-style broke for Naji in 2009"

“Boy Scout camp” terrorist-style broke for Naji in 2009 and he returned to the United States to his old haunts in the Denver metro area, which likely included his former community of Aurora, Colorado. He retrieved his notes from his earlier emails and began his plans to assemble the necessary bomb making ingredients.

By June of ‘09, Najibullah Zazi began conducting research on where to buy the ingredients for the explosives using those email notes. Naji Zazi then traveled to New York and met with others to discuss the plan, including the timing of the attack and where to make the explosives.

"This must have been an exciting time for the misguided Afghan terrorist contemplating why blowing himself into a billion pieces was going to make him one with God"

This must have been an exciting time for the misguided-guided Afghan terrorist as he darted around the country meeting co-conspirators, assembling bomb detonation items and contemplating why blowing himself into a billion pieces was going to make him one with God.

In July of 2009, after a whirl wind trip to New York City, Naji purchased large quantities of the ingredients necessary to make TATP and checked into a hotel room with his bomb things in Denver, Colorado. The FBI later found the residue of explosives in the room. And you thought your only problem with the previous hotel guest was bed bugs!

"“S” day, that is suicide day, was set for September
14th, 15th and 16th"

“S” day, that is suicide day, was set for September 14th, 15th and 16th of 2009. After an ungodly long drive in a rental car from Denver, Naji arrived in the Big Apple On Thursday, Sept. 10th, 2009, just in time for the fireworks. The idea was to put the explosives together with the necessary bomb components and then hit the Manhattan subway lines. It is an odd way to “hit the town”.

We don’t know why, but Allah was on Naji’s side, because he figured out the cops were hot on his trail. Fearing discovery, Naji and his buddies put the kibosh on their plans, which turned out to save his life. Naji fled to the Mile High City after getting rid of the evidence. He was arrested on September 19th in Denver, three days after the last bomb was to burst.

"It would be up to a citizen jury to decide whether there was enough evidence to charge"

The original criminal complaint filed by the FBI was “knowingly and willfully making false statements to the FBI in a matter involving international and domestic terrorism”. This gave the U.S. government the right to hold the 25 year old Afghanistan national until evidence could be assembled and sent to a Grand Jury. It would be up to a citizen jury to decide whether there was enough evidence to charge the would be mass murderer.

As a general rule, which is not true for the poor sots who spent time in Guantanamo Bay during the Bush administration, the U.S. Government does not hold people against their will without having some probable reason to believe they have committed a crime. The mere allegations along with some evidence does not make one guilty. However, it gives the government enough to hold a dangerous suspect.  At the same time, it suggests we don’t lock people up because some guy in a trench coat says we should.  There has to be some basis, some probable cause, for the arrest.

This policy based upon our constitution was reinstated after Captain Bush left office. President Barak Obama announced we would not violate the principles of freedom trying to protect that same freedom. Then it is not called ‘freedom’ anymore. We do not have to stoop to the lows of our enemies in order to protect ourselves. Freedom applies to all who are accused because once in awhile the government gets it wrong.

This return to ‘due process’ makes it a lot harder for law enforcement to make the case against the bad guys. Let’s just say they are doing one heck of a good job! The abusive policies of the Bush Administration made us look like hypocrites, gave our government and our people a black eye, and was no doubt used as justification in motivating young anti U.S. recruits.

In a sense, abusive practices do more to harm our national security than they do to help. Trust me, had the bombs been any closer, the Government would have used certain special powers it possesses to protect you and me. Due process eventually falls to national security, but only after our troops have made the old college try.

"Zazi committed conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction"

The evidence was assembled and presented to the Grand Jury in the Eastern District of New York. On Sept. 23, 2009 the Grand Jury returned a one-count indictment alleging Zazi committed conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction (explosive bombs) against persons or property in the United States, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to al Qaeda. Among other things, Zazi admitted that he brought TATP [Triacetone Triperoxide] explosives to New York on Sept. 10, 2009, as part of plan to attack the New York subway system.
“This was one of the most serious terrorist threats to our nation since September 11, 2001, and were it not for the combined efforts of the law enforcement and intelligence communities, it could have been devastating,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This attempted attack on our homeland was real, it was in motion, and it would have been deadly. We were able to thwart this plot because of careful analysis by our intelligence agents and prompt actions by law enforcement. They deserve our thanks and praise.”

It is time to be grateful for the dedicated police and intelligence community in the U.S. who are doing a tough job the old fashioned way. It makes putting the case together a little harder, but once it all fits, it is a stronger case. The extra steps law enforcements takes in putting rotten apples in the garbage is the first line of defense in insuring freedom and civil rights ring true.

"The 911 attackers were not Mexican nationals"

Instead of taking our 911 rage out on Mexican Nationals who cross the border looking for food and a better way of life, what if we concentrate on the guys who come here from countries and cultures opposed to us? The 911 attackers were not Mexican nationals. Most who come here from Afghanistan are peace loving people with strong religious convictions based upon doing good things for others. They are looking for a better life, too. It is important we not single out one segment of our population, but one thing sure, the Afghan community is a lot smaller than the Latino community. They are more easily investigated. The few bad guys amongst them are more motivated to commit horrific acts; and the majority are here legally.

The sad thing is, most of the Moslem faith seek peace and good will towards America.  The American people want the same.  A few radical fools are bent on feeding their hatred of all things Western and manipulate their own people into doing horrible acts they, themselves will not do.  A few gullable devotees give into their selfish desire for immortality.  Why care about what happens to others, so long as they achieve their place in history?  Even if the theory were true, do you believe selfishness is an Islamic practice?  But for these things we could have peace.

Najibullah Zazi, a lawful permanent resident, failed to blow up trains in the New York Subway system. This, after intensive training by al Qaeda operatives, and an elaborate plan split between the cities of the Metro Denver and Aurora area, and extending all the way to the Big Apple. As far as we know Zazi never got to fight along side the Taliban. If he is convicted of the charges he faces, he will have plenty of time fighting for his life in a U.S. prison. Even the worst element of our society dislikes those who attack American soil.

Las Vegas attorney Noel Gage takes Alford Plea Felony Obstruction of justice

Noel Gage violates sworn oath
Client Melodie Simon loses out

Have you ever suspected your attorney is in bed with the attorneys from the opposite side? Doesn’t it seem suspicious when the pro and the con in a civil case, the prosecution and the defense, in a criminal case, all get together, smiling and goggling in private conversation while you sit wringing your wrists?

Is your attorney in bed with the other side?

The answer is, in most cases he or she is not. Most attorneys learned the hard way, being a dick to the opposing counsel is unprofessional and usually ends up hurting the client in the long run. What the client does not realize, underneath all of the cooing, there is lawyer rage seething, and waiting to be vented if necessary.

That is not the case with Las Vegas medical malpractice attorney Noel Gage of Gage and Gage, llp if allegations are true. He is accused of selling out to defense counsel in his representation of a patient who walked into surgery and was wheeled out a paraplegic.

"Who pays, the patient who will never walk or the wealthy surgeon?"

Something went terribly wrong when Melodie Simon went in for back surgery. According to evidence, Dan Burkhead, the anatheseologist, was responsible for puncturing a sac protecting Simon's spine. Extensive internal bleeding caused the nerves to push up against the spine and turned the one-time Olympic volleyball player into a paraplegic.

Still, the majority of the damage might have been prevented if Surgeon Mark Bradley Kabins had gone into immediate action rather than continue with his fishing trip. He waited 11 hours to perform emergency surgery even though he knew internal bleeding was causing the paralysis.

The problem in Melodies case is, the doctor’s defense counsel was not the only attorney she was battling during legal proceedings against spine surgeons John Thalgott and Mark Kabins. The government alleges her attorney made a deal with defense counsel for a lower settlement than would normally have been agreed to against the physicians. In exchange, attorney Gage was promised lucrative future cases.

Gage brought suit against spine surgeons John Thalgott and Mark Kabins on behalf of Melodie. After suit was filed, a self proclaimed "legal expert" approached Gage and offered to send him a lucrative case if he took the pressure off of the surgeons and put the blame onto the back of Anathesiologist Dan Burkhead. In fact, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Schiess, three days after the medical expert sent Gage a case that ultimately settled for $18 million, attorney Gage turned began to focus on the anathesiologist. Subsequently, little effort was spent on the surgeons.

Gage won the suit against Burkhead and Sunrise Hospital and medical center, where the surgery was performed. Melodie Simon received a $2.3 million settlement. Her net after fees and costs was 1.3 million which she claims won't cover her medical costs over her life.

After attorney fees and costs, Simon received $1.3 million, which she testified will never cover the costs of her medical needs.

"Gage would have spent the rest of his life in prison"

If Assistant US Attorneys Steven Myhre and Dan Schiess had been able to prove their case Gage would have spent the rest of his life in prison. Even at age 71, that might have been a lot of years. What they got instead was a handout. Gage is going to plead guilty to felony obstruction of justice charges and return the attorney’s fees of $702,600 back to the paralyzed woman.

That is what they call a special type of plea bargain called an "Alford Plea".  The plea is named after the 1970 United States Supreme Court decision of North Carolina v. Alford. It allows the accused to plead “no contest” to a lesser charge. He maintains his innocence to the original charge, admits he would probably be found guilty of the more serious original charge and accepts the lesser charge to be entered against him.

"The second degree murder charge avoided the death penalty"

The Alford Doctrine originated when Henry Alford allowed a second degree murder charge to be entered against him when he was almost assuredly guilty of a first degree murder charge. The second degree murder charge avoided the death penalty and allowed him to get out of jail early, which in his case was 30 years.

The plea does two things for the attorney. Gage is a prominent attorney in Las Vegas. He is subject to discipline from the Supreme Court attorney ethics committee. If he has not admitted he has done anything wrong the ethics charges are harder to make stick. They will probably still take his license. It also helps Gage should his client wish to sue him in civil court. Again, he has not admitted to any wrong doing.

If Gage were going to prison maintaining his innocence might not have been quite as important. That is likely where this plea falls so short. Gage will not likely go to jail, even though the judge admonished counsel the penalty could be up to 20 years. However, since the doctors who participated with Gage did not go to jail, Gage likely won’t go to jail, either.

Attorney Noel Gage gets off easy by taking an Alford Plea to Obstruction of justice after selling out Melodie Simon. Ms. Simon is a paraplegic with a lot of money and not much else thanks to two spinal surgeons, John Thalgott and Mark Kabins, who also got off easy. All three of the professionals will have their chance to make another million and won‘t likely spend a day in prison. Melodie Simon won’t have another chance to walk or move her arms or legs or do the boogie, she is damned to her eternal set of iron bars.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Doctor Rios, attorney Kasner and cop Drexel Reid prepare to face prison for fraud scheme

Chiropracter, attorney, cop maybe going to jail
Lying to insurance companies is fraud

Have you thought about filing a false accident report and collecting the insurance on the claim? If you have, it might be time to think again.

Dr. Stephen Rios who is the owner of "Rios Chiropractic Center" near the intersection of Roosevelt Boulevard and Cottman Avenue, in Philadelphia, PA, is in need of a neck adjustment for the stress he is under.  According to allegations, he could be heading to jail if he gets convicted on 23 counts of mail fraud for his part in a scheme to defraud insurance companies in fake accidents.  Some of the victims include MetLife, Cambridge, State Farm, Allstate, Safe Auto, AIG, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Rutgers, Nationwide, Erie, Proformance, and USAA.

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. 

"Others were run into a brick wall"

In some cases the vehicles were banged up at a body shop to make them look like they had been in an accident, while others were run into a brick wall. The scheme got so out of hand the Chiropracter didn’t even bother to treat all of the patients, it was all made up.

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."

"Former Philadelphia Highway Patrol Officer Drexel Reid Jr., who created false police reports for the purpose of submitting fake insurance claims, has been cooperating"

Former Philadelphia Highway Patrol Officer Drexel Reid Jr., who created false police reports for the purpose of submitting fake insurance claims, has been cooperating with investigators and is due to be sentenced in May on nine counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of extortion.

"It didn’t help his case when he assaulted investigators as they tried to arrest him"

A tow truck driver, Jerry Blassengale, 37, of Philadelphia, who solicited people to be involved in the accidents and received fake reports from Reid, was sentenced for several counts of mail fraud to 87 month sentence in prison, more than 7 years.  It didn’t help his case when he assaulted investigators as they tried to arrest him.

“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.”

"Faking an accident to collect insurance proceeds is a bad idea!"

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.
Picks compliments of Google pics, re-touched for the occasion.