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Wednesday, 25 June 2014 21:36

Philadelphia Shop Accused of Staging Car Accidents as ‘Fictitious Deer Crashes’

Ronald Galati Sr. is one of 41 people in Philadelphia indicted by a grand jury in an elaborate insurance fraud scheme that used deer carcasses to stage auto accidents, according to reports at Philly.com. Galati is accused of running the $5 million scam out of his auto body shop in Philadelphia where he stored deer carcasses, blood, and fur in the back of his shop to use as props to stage the accidents.

Galati was in the business, according to a grand jury, of “fictitious deer accidents.” Galati, 63, was one of 41 people charged in the fraud after a 16-month investigation by a Philadelphia grand jury. Also charged were his wife, Vicki, 59, and their son Ron Jr., 37, who since 2000 has been the legal owner of his father’s American Collision & Auto Center at 1930 S. 20th St.

According to District Attorney Seth Williams, Galati encouraged customers to file insurance claims saying they struck a deer instead of a car so insurance companies would consider them “no fault” accidents and pay the claims without raising the customers’ premiums.

Galati favored creating single-vehicle accidents because insurance companies would consider them “no-fault” and pay the claims without raising the vehicle owners’ premiums, Williams contended. Galati would copy keys to cars brought into his shop for repair, and an accomplice would later find them parked on the street, steal them, and crash them into the other vehicles owned by Galati customers, a grand jury witness  said. The purported point of their vandalism? To create more work and potential insurance paydays for American Collision.

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