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Insurance fraud over the decades, and how fraud impacts us all – WCVB Boston



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From staged car crashes to people falsely claiming they’re too injured to work, the state’s Insurance Fraud Bureau has seen it all.

Take Adam Haddad, caught on camera intentionally damaging vehicle after vehicle at his auto body shop in Everett in 2018. The damning evidence came to light last year after Haddad pleaded guilty to insurance fraud.
“It was extensively outrageous,” said Tony DiPaolo, executive director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, which worked on the case.
“He would just enhance the damage– and then get additional moneys back to him from the insurance company,” DiPaolo said.
It’s one of the latest in a long list of cases from the Insurance Fraud Bureau, which was established in 1991 by the state legislature and is funded through the insurance industry.
Since its inception, 4,385 people have faced criminal charges, resulting in nearly $99 million in restitution.
“It’s all about money?” 5 Investigates’ Mike Beaudet asked him.
“Yes, it is. It’s all about money,” DiPaolo said.
Money for the people committing fraud, which costs the rest of us money when our insurance rates rise.
“The insurance company is going to pay the claims, right? So now they need to increase the rates because the claims are up higher,” DiPaolo explained.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau said the number of fraud cases has remained steady over the years, with about 3,000 suspected cases every year.
There have been some memorable cases over time, like the man known as the Rock ‘n Roller.
He claimed he was totally disabled after being hurt on the job at a lumber company.
“Somebody who claimed he couldn’t work — this guy was working, bouncing and jumping all over the stage,” DiPaolo said.
And remember Boom Boom the Clown, the allegedly injured school bus driver who insisted she was too hurt to work after hurting her shoulder from opening and closing the door on a school bus.
“They had video of her actually coming to people’s homes, doing children’s birthday parties and performing at those birthday parties as a clown,” DiPaolo said.
Then there’s the skydiver, caught jumping out of planes multiple times despite claiming to be unable to work because of back and leg injuries suffered on the job at a trucking company.

“Claimed he could not work. Didn’t have the ability to work, and what he was actually doing was an extreme sports performer,” he said.
But some of the fraud has been serious.
“Early on, we were doing a lot with staged auto accidents,” DiPaolo said.
It came to a head after a grandmother was killed in what turned out to be a staged car crash, and a larger scheme of staged crashes, fake injuries and phony insurance claims was revealed, with Lawrence coming to light as the insurance fraud capital of the state.
Another type of insurance fraud: phony death claims.
Photos purport to show the funeral procession in Haiti of the brother of a Massachusetts man, including weeping friends and relatives. But the brother was very much alive.
“He had absolutely no idea that his brother had insured his life for $100,000 And he had absolutely no idea that his brother had claimed that he had died,” DiPaolo said.
“Some of these people are just brazen?” Beaudet asked.
“Yes, they are. They’re going to push the envelope as far as they can. They probably think nobody’s looking,” DiPaolo replied.
If you know about insurance fraud, you can call the bureau’s tip line at 1-800-32-FRAUD.

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