Insurance Fraud Grinches: 9 Most-Brazen Insurance Scammers of 2018

Consumers advised how to avoid scams, especially during the holidays

WASHINGTON--()--The holiday season rang in with the year’s 9 most-brazen insurance-fraud grinches taking short sleigh rides for long prison terms after foisting outsized and elf-delusional insurance thefts.

America’s extreme insurance schemers were inducted into the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. Insurance scams are an $80-billion crime annually, raising everyone’s premiums.

Stay alert for holiday insurance scams — and fraud grinches year-around:

  • Robocalls. Hang up on healthcare robocalls selling bogus “Trumpcare,” “Obamacare” and suspiciously low-priced health plans.
  • Stolen medical identity. Avoid medical identity theft … protect your sensitive medical information — and good credit.
  • Contractor scams. Steer clear of shady home contractors who steal your downpayment, do bogus repairs and overbill your insurance.
  • Senior scams. Seniors are regular targets of scams such as: bogus Medicare cards … expensive and unneeded wheelchairs … unwanted braces.

Hall of Shame Inductees

Burning desire. Two fire fighters died when a brick wall fell on them as they fought an arson fire. Thu Hong Nguyen set the blaze to burn her nail salon for insurance money in Kansas City, Mo.

Driven to steal. A vast fraud ring run by Felix Filenger stole fully $23 million for bogus whiplash injury claims from real and setup car crashes in South Florida.

Bribes for blood. The largest doctor bribery scheme in U.S. history saw chiropractor David Nicoll stealing more than $100 million. He bribed at least 38 corrupt doctors for false testing of blood samples in Parsippany, N.J.

Toddler killer. Erica White poisoned her blind and deaf toddler Tyrael McFall to death for $50,000 of life insurance in the Atlanta area.

Maladjusted adjuster. Public adjuster Jorge Fausto Espinosa burned and flooded dozens of homes for $14 million of inflated claims in South Florida. Damage was rigged to look like electrical problems, kitchen accidents and faulty water lines.

Home arsonist floored. Fire fighter Patrick Wolterman died when he fell through a seared floor while combating an insurance arson set by Billy Lester Parker and Billy Tucker in Hamilton, Ohio.

Pain for profit. Homeless people were inflicted with painful and unneeded spinal injections. Detroit-area streets also were flooded with more than 4 million painkillers in a $300-million Medicare plot by Dr. Mishiyat Rashid.

Unsober sober homes. Yury Baumblit ran unsafe flophouses that housed homeless people and addicts in the New York City area. He pushed many into unneeded drug rehab, forced some to take drugs, and evicted anyone who didn’t cooperate.

Money addiction. Kirsten Wallace co-owned a corrupt sober home that stole the identities of addicts to overbill insurers in a $175-million insurance crime. It was one of the largest health-insurance plots in California history.


James Quiggle, Director of Communications, 202-393-7331 c; 202-246-8071 c

Release Summary

Most brazen insurance scammers elected to the Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame. Consumers advised how to avoid insurance schemes.


James Quiggle, Director of Communications, 202-393-7331 c; 202-246-8071 c