After International Manhunt, Arthur Bogoraz Pleads Guilty To $8M No-Fault Insurance Fraud Scheme

Source: David Reber’s Hammer Photography/Flickr

After an international manhunt that lasted nine months and included several nations, fake IDs, an island-hopping private plane piloted by the suspect, and an expanded indictment that saw the suspect’s largess grow from $4.5 million to $8 million, Arthur Bogoraz, a confessed fraudster, now faces up to seven years in prison.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced yesterday that his office won a felony conviction against Bogoraz after the scammer pleaded guilty to ripping off no-fault insurance companies. The elaborate scheme included Bogoraz, who is not a doctor, setting up numerous fake radiology practices to bill through, and even a collections agency through which he laundered the $8 million.

“Motivated by greed, this individual stopped at nothing to line his own pockets with stolen money, putting people at risk, defrauding the public and corrupting legitimate businesses,” Schneiderman said in a press release. “Mr. Bogoraz’s conviction and jail sentence makes very clear that this office will capture and hold accountable those who completely disregard the law.”

Here’s a rundown of how he committed his crimes, via the press release:

In a detailed allocution [Tuesday] before Justice Danny Chun in Kings County Supreme Court, Bogoraz admitted that between July 2006 and December 2010, in Kings County and elsewhere, he defrauded no-fault insurance companies of millions of dollars through a complex scheme involving stolen identities from medical doctors. Bogoraz admitted that as part of his scheme, he persuaded radiologists to work with him and promised payment for each MRI they reviewed, interpreted and reported to the insurance companies as a no-fault insurance claim. To create the appearance of legitimacy and to entice doctors to work with him, Bogoraz tried to conceal his prior criminal conviction by using the false names “Arthur Goldshteyn” and “Arthur Dogoraz,” going so far as to create phony identification documents from Florida in these names.
Bogoraz admitted that once the doctors agreed to work with him, he exploited his access to their personal information and set up separate radiology corporations without their knowledge or consent. He forged the doctors’ signatures on incorporation documents, leases and bank documents. Using their stolen identities, Bogoraz opened and operated multiple radiology corporations, including Sharp Radiology, P.C., Vital Radiology, P.C., Essential Radiology, P.C., Aurora Radiology, P.C., and Oracle Radiology of NY, P.C. Bogoraz then filed no-fault insurance claims and collected the money in bank accounts he established using the doctors’ names and personal information, diverting the money to himself.
Bogoraz further admitted that in addition to managing the radiology corporations and accounts, he controlled a collections law firm, Greater NY Legal Services, so that he could launder insurance monies. Mr. Bogoraz admitted that through his scheme, over a five-year period, he stole more than $8 million from insurance companies. He then laundered the proceeds, cashing $1 million at check cashing stores and withdrawing more than $500,000 in cash directly from the corporations’ bank accounts.

When busted on the charges in January 2011, Bogoraz went on the lam. Two days before he was set to surrender, he flew to the Ukraine, with which the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty. Investigators tracked him until he turned up island hopping in his own private plane from St. Maarten to Puerto Rico. There, he was apprehended at Louis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, where he was waiting to board a flight to Texas.

It’s not the first time Bogoraz has been busted for no-fault fraud either.

In June 2005, Bogoraz was convicted in Queens for his role in a 43-member ring that investigators dubbed a “fraud factory,” and included associates of the reputed Bonanno crime family. It centered around a Richmond Hill medical clinic that ripped insurance companies off for millions of dollars, and virtually all of whose medical claims and patients were deemed fraudulent.

Bogoraz was believed to be the boss of the clinic.

Bogoraz will soon face sentencing, and may serve between 3.5 to seven years in prison for charges including Money Laundering in the Second Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.