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Feds crack down on ambulance-chasing insurance fraud ring

Hartford Courant, July 21, 2011

The FBI is moving against what authorities describe as a long-running insurance fraud in which a downstate lawyer and a handful of health professionals exaggerated injuries suffered by traffic accident victims in order to bilk insurance carriers out of big settlements. Authorities say the principals in the Fairfield County ring found victims from relatively minor car accidents and took elaborate steps to inflate the apparent severity of their injuries. They created false medical records, prescribed powerful and unnecessary pain medication, required extended and unneeded chiropractic treatment and recommended exotic diagnostics, such as $2,000 "nerve conduction velocity testing." In cases where the accident victims were low-income recipients of public assistance, participants in the scheme also are accused of circumventing state law that requires that the state receive half of any insurance settlement.