Officials: Scammers Faked Single-Car Crashes Using Deer Body Parts In $5M Insurance Fraud Scheme

Anyone who’s seen the aftermath of a car-on-deer collision knows the scene is far from a pretty one. But officials in Pennsylvania say a group of 41 scammers took the time to stage similar gory tableaus to fake single-car accidents and defraud insurance companies out of $5 million total.

Using a variety of deer parts, geese, dogs, blood, fur, concrete, overturned cartons of fruit and other props, prosecutors say the owner of an auto-body shop (and alleged mob associate) and his group staged elaborate scenes in order to defraud auto insurance companies, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A grand jury called the scheme the business of “fictitious deer accidents,” wherein the shop owner told workers to pull weeds from the river and create “Hollywood photos” of fake accidents.

He allegedly preferred making it look like single-vehicle accidents because those would more likely be dubbed “no-fault” situations by insurance companies, making it likely that they’d pay the claims without raising the owners’ premiums.

Witnesses for the grand jury said he’d say, “I live my life to cheat insurance companies.”

He and 40 other people have been charged with fraud after 16-month investigation by a Philadelphia grand jury.

Grand jury: Auto-insurance scam involved deer parts [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.