News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2017
Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
OPERATION DECOY DELIVERY: A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES CONVICTION AFTER TRIAL OF RINGLEADER IN INSURANCE FRAUD SCHEME
Defendant Jean Mythro Davilmar Convicted Of 29 Felony Counts for Massive Scheme to Defraud
Defendant Filed Forged And Falsified Documents To Fraudulently Obtain Commercial Insurance Policies For Over 100 Vehicles
BROOKLYN – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the conviction after trial of Jean Mythro Davilmar, 68, of Brooklyn, NY for his participation in a massive scheme to fraudulently obtain commercial car insurance policies and New York State vehicle registrations. Over an eight-year period, the defendant and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained thousands of dollars in discounted insurance policies for over 100 vehicles by registering the cars with fake companies including delivery services, prompting investigators to dub the case “Operation Decoy Delivery.” Davilmar and nine other co-conspirators filed forged and falsified documents with insurance carriers, the Kings County Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle (“DMV”). After a four-week trial, which included testimony from 26 witnesses and the admission of hundreds of documents, the Honorable Justice Danny Chun found the defendant guilty of 29 felony counts.
“My office won’t hesitate to prosecute insurance fraudsters – no matter how complex or elaborate the scheme,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Automobile insurance fraud leads to higher insurance rates for hard-working New Yorkers, while jeopardizing public safety by allowing falsely registered and improperly insured vehicles to operate on our roads. Those plotting similar scams to undermine state agencies or defraud insurance providers should take note: we will hold you accountable.”
“Insurance fraud is a crime that results in higher premiums for law-abiding New Yorkers,” said New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo. “This defendant allegedly deprived insurers of hundreds of thousands of dollars in premiums by engaging in an elaborate scheme that included falsifying and forging documents, lying about the purpose, locations and operators of vehicles, and using false addresses. DFS is proud to have assisted the New York State Office of the Attorney General in stopping this fraud and bringing this defendant to justice.”
“The National Insurance Crime Bureau applauds the staff of the New York State Attorney General’s Office for their continued efforts in combatting insurance fraud in New York,” said Kevin Gallagher, Regional Director of the Northeast Region of the National Insurance Crime Bureau. “The cost of insurance fraud is shared by all consumers. Commercial premium fraud enables unscrupulous individuals and businesses to gain an unfair advantage over those who follow the law. This conviction sends a strong message to other individuals who may be contemplating engaging in insurance fraud. We look forward to our continued partnership with the Attorney General’s Office in fighting against insurance fraud for the benefit of all New Yorkers.”
The evidence at trial showed that between May 2006 and June 2014, Davilmar and his co-defendants engaged in a complex scheme to obtain commercial auto insurance for themselves and others in the names of fictitious business partnerships by submitting falsified documents and making false statements to multiple governmental agencies and insurance carriers.
The defendants created fictitious business partnerships by filing false documents with the Kings County Supreme Court Clerk’s Office. The defendants then fraudulently obtained commercial automobile insurance for multiple vehicles under the names of these fictitious business partnerships. In order to obtain lower premiums, on the applications for commercial insurance, the defendants falsely represented that the vehicles insured under the policies would be engaged in low-risk businesses such as delivery services, performing carpentry, or photography. To further lower premiums, defendants made additional misrepresentations including providing false pedigree information for purported members of the business partnerships, falsely stating the geographical location where the vehicles were operated and garaged, and misrepresenting the actual operators of the vehicles.
After fraudulently obtaining insurance for vehicles under commercial policies, the defendants submitted false registration and title applications to the DMV, registering the vehicles under the names of the fictitious partnerships. These DMV applications allegedly included forged signatures, false addresses, and fictitious individuals listed as the buyers and sellers of the vehicles. In support of their falsified registration and title applications, defendants also submitted copies of the fraudulently obtained insurance cards as proof that the vehicles had valid insurance in New York State, a prerequisite before the DMV could issue registrations and license plates.
The evidence at trial further revealed that when a policy was canceled for nonpayment or because the defendants could not maintain the facade that the cars were being used in low-risk businesses, the defendants opened another policy with forged documents and transferred the cars onto the new policy.
Ringleader Davilmar, who testified at trial, admitted to forming fake companies in order to obtain insurance policies for multiple vehicles. The evidence at trial showed that Davilmar created over a dozen fictitious business partnerships, including Florist Locomotion, Landscaping Express, Cleaners Express, Mybeda Express, Bedamy Express, and Damybe Express. Several of the company names were anagrams of the first two letters of the defendant’s middle and last name and his daughter Bettina’s name. Through the submission of fraudulent documents, including business certificates for these fake entities, Davilmar and his co-conspirators obtained over 20 commercial insurance policies for over 100 vehicles, with coverage limits of up to $50,000 per accident for each vehicle. On cross-examination, Davilmar admitted to repeatedly using the alias “Jean Claude Marcelin” on documents filed with the DMV, the Kings County Clerk’s Office, and multiple auto insurance carriers.
Today, in Kings County Supreme Court, Judge Chun convicted Davilmar of two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a Class D felony), 17 counts of Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree (a Class D felony), four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (a Class E felony), five counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a Class D felony), and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a Class E felony). Davilmar faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 to 20 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 10, 2018.
In addition to Davilmar, nine other defendants charged by the Attorney General for their participation in this scheme have pleaded guilty, including insurance brokers Thomas Kurian, John Grima, and Keith Ashman. Kurian pleaded guilty to Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a class E felony). Grima pleaded guilty to Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree (a class A misdemeanor). Pierre pleaded guilty to Forgery in the Second Degree (a class D felony) and Bettina Confident pleaded guilty to Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree (a class A misdemeanor).
Additionally, the five co-defendants charged along with Davilmar in the Attorney General’s indictment pled guilty as follows: Joe Sainvilus Jr. pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a class D felony); Jessica Davilmar pleaded guilty to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a class E felony); George M. Thomas pleaded guilty to Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a class E felony); Hermine Celestin pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a class A misdemeanor); and Keith M. Ashman pleaded guilty to Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree (a class A misdemeanor). All nine defendants are awaiting sentence.
These arrests are the culmination of a long-term investigation conducted by Attorney General Schneiderman’s Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit. The Attorney General thanks the Department of Financial Services, the DMV, the New York Automobile Insurance Plan and the National Insurance Crime Bureau for their valuable assistance in this case. The Attorney General also thanks the New York City Marshal’s Office, Progressive Insurance Co., Maidstone Insurance Co., National General Insurance Co., Farm Family Casualty Insurance Co., Assigned Risk Solutions, American Transit Insurance Co., GEICO Insurance Co., Travelers Insurance Co. and the CARCO Group for their instrumental cooperation during this investigation. The Attorney General also thanks the King’s County Clerk’s Office, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, and the United States Social Security Administration’s Inspector General’s Office for their valuable assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Kristen Bitetto and Nicholas Hernandez, with the assistance of Supervising Legal Analyst Paul Strocko and Legal Analysts Tatiana Brunvall and Rebecca Jacobson of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief/AIFU Unit Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.
The case was investigated by Investigator Patrick Lubin, with the assistance of Investigators Zylona Silva and Michael Houlihan, under the direction of Investigators Edward Keegan and Natalie Shifrin and Deputy Chief Leonard D’Alessandro. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella. Audit work was performed by Forensic Auditor Andre Hartley of the Forensic Audit Section. The Forensic Audit Section is led by Deputy Chief Sandy Bizzarro and Chief Edward J. Keegan.