Three Long Islanders were among six people charged with filing false auto insurance claims, the New York attorney general’s office announced Thursday in a news release.
Jacqueline Cadeau, 26, of Hempstead; Shimon Schmulian, 25, of Great Neck; and Debra Spraggins, 44, of Selden, along with two people from Brooklyn and a man from Queens, allegedly bought auto coverage and later filed false claims for damage or theft occurring before the policies went into effect, according to the release.
The arrests were the result of “Operation Crash & Buy” a joint investigation conducted by the attorney general’s Auto Insurance Fraud Unit and the New York State Department of Financial Service’s Criminal Investigations Unit.
“False claims affect hardworking New York residents by driving up the cost of auto insurance,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a news release. “Insurance fraud is a crime, and anyone thinking about making a false insurance claim should consider the consequences of their actions.”
According to the release, Cadeau’s 2012 Honda Civic was damaged in a car accident in March. She purchased auto insurance the following month and soon afterward filed a claim for the damage sustained in the March accident.
Schmulian damaged his 2014 BMW after hitting a pothole in February 2014, Schneiderman’s office said. He lowered his deductible from $1,000 to $500 and then filed a claim that the accident had occurred the following day.
Spraggins added coverage to her 2005 Dodge Neon in August 2014, after it sustained water damage. She filed a claim for more than $2,900, saying that the car was flooded five days after the policy went into effect.
All three are being charged with insurance fraud, a class E felony and falsifying business records, according to the release.
They were arraigned Wednesday. Cadeau and Schmulian appeared in Nassau First District Court; Spraggins in Suffolk First District Court.
Cadeau and Spraggins were both released on their own recognizance, while Schmulian was released to probation.