Articles Posted in Insurance Fraud

EQ, a 43 year old woman from Methuen owned a car that was insured. The car needed some front end work and in February of 2017 EQ reported to her insurance company that her car had been struck by a hit and run driver. The insurance company sent an adjuster out to look at the car. The damage to the car did not appear to the adjuster to be consistent with the story being told by EQ. The insurance company hired an accident reconstruction expert who thoroughly examined the car including examining the paint on the car. The expert concluded that the front end of the car had been involved in a number scrapes on different times with different objects and that the front end work that needed to be done was unrelated to any accident. The insurance company reported their findings to the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau. The Methuen Police were called in and when confronted, EQ admitted that the accident did not happen as she reported it. The police then charged EQ with (1) Filing a False Motor Vehicle Insurance Claim and (2) Attempted Larceny Over $250.00. Both charges are felonies. EQ was arraigned on August 9, 2017 in Lawrence District Court and her case was continued for a pre-trial hearing to September 8, 2017.

EQ consulted with Attorney Robert Lewin from North Andover and retained him. The Insurance Fraud Bureau report was comprehensive and contained detailed photographs of the car and a detailed explanation of why EQ’s accident report was false.

EQ had no criminal record and a good job with a high-tech company. A felony conviction would dramatically effect her future. Attorney Lewin went over to the District Attorney’s Office at Lawrence District Court and met with the Assistant DA assigned to EQ’s case. The DA was willing to continue her case without a finding (CWOF). A continuance without a finding can be a good result as it avoids a conviction; but it does involve an admission that the evidence is sufficient to warrant a finding of guilt. Attorney Lewin advocated strenuously with the Assistant DA to consider a general continuance of the case. A general continuance of a criminal case is a disposition where, by agreement, the case is continued for a period of time and then dismissed. There is NO admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It is NOT a plea bargain.

On April 21, 2011 FN drove her car to the supermarket in Lynn and went into shop. When she came out of the market the side of her car had extensive damage. The next day FN drove her car to a body shop and reported the accident to her insurance company. She filed a motor vehicle damage claim with the insurance company.The insurance company sent out an adjuster to examine the car; the damage did not appear to be consistent with FN’s account of what happened. The insurance company brought in an accident re-constructionist who thoroughly examined the car. The expert concluded that the car had been moving (and the wheels turning) when the car came into contact with a utility pole that was soaked in creosote. There was creosote on the wheels and the body panels consistent with the car striking a utility pole while the car was moving forward. The insurance company refused to make payment. According to FN the body shop fixed her car and did not charge her. The body shop then went out of business and FN sold the car.

Three years later(!) the Lynn Police charged FN with filing a false insurance claim and attempted larceny. FN retained an attorney from Boston; the attorney negotiated a “plea bargain” with the District Attorney’s Office that required FN to admit that she was guilty and that would have required her to be on probation for six months. FN called Attorney Robert Lewin in North Andover to get a second opinion. Attorney Lewin told FN that she was not guilty and should not be discussing plea bargains for a crime that she did not commit. FN the retained Attorney Lewin. Attorney Lewin spoke immediately with the District Attorney. After several discussions between Attorney Lewin and the District Attorney the DA agreed to dismiss the charges against FN.

On February 5, 2015 FN and Attorney Lewin appeared in Lynn District Court. Both criminal charges against FN were dismissed. FN left the courthouse smiling.