A New York body shop owner and one of his employees have
been charged with purposely damaging vehicles brought in for repairs so they
could submit exaggerated bills to insurance companies.
Elie Berger, owner of Perfect Collision in Borough Park,
and his employee Hershy Greenberger allegedly enhanced damage to a car
insured by Geico.
Geico was suspicious that the shop was running a
"damage enhancement scheme," so Kings County District Attorney
investigators brought in a vehicle with damage to the front passenger-side
fender to Perfect Collision after first photographing that damage. When a Geico
adjuster showed up to take a picture of the damage, it had been
"enhanced," according to the indictment.
Another charge against Perfect Collision is billing Geico
more than $1,000 for a rental vehicle in an undercover’s name despite the
undercover explaining to Greenberger that he did not want a rental vehicle for
the week of repairs.
Prosecutors believe insurers other than Geico
also may have fallen victim to the shop’s scheme.
After executing a search warrant on Perfect Collision and
Berger’s home, investigators found more than $700,000 in cash and a 2011
application for public assistance that claimed that Berger made $350 a week as
an employee of Perfect Collision.