Rahway man sentenced to prison for his part in accident insurance scam

Published: 2010-11-24 14:54:34
Author: Eliot Caroom | NJ.com | November 23, 2010

RAHWAY- A Rahway man who owned a now-shuttered chiropractic clinic was sentenced in federal court this week to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to mail fraud in a scheme in which patients staged car crashes and were treated for fake injuries.

In federal court in Newark Monday, Roberto Castonon, 63, admitted to conspiring to stage automobile accidents, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s office, which said that insurance companies paid out more than $400,000 for misrepresented injuries..

U.S. District Judge William H. Walls sentenced Castonon to three years in jail, three more years of supervised release and ordered him to to pay back about $340,000, the District Attorney’s office said in a press release.

Between 2003 and 2007, Castonon said directed people to intentionally cause low-speed traffic accidents and then mislead police officers about injuries that were written into their reports and were later were submitted to insurance companies.

Castonon would bill insurance companies for unnecessary chiropractic care, paying his accomplices kickbacks and pocketing the rest of the profits, said the District Attorney’s office.

The District Attorney’s office called Castanon the ringleader of the scheme, and said he took advantage of the state’s “no-fault” auto insurance policy system. State insurance rules require insurance companies to pay medical expenses regardless of who is at fault in an accident.

United States postal inspectors investigated Castonon’s fraud because he deceived insurance companies by filing claims through the mail, and the District Attorney credited postal inspector David Collins for bringing Castonon to justice.

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