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Law Offices of John Morelli
A Personal Injury Firm Serving All Of South Jersey

Where is the Fraud?

On May 22, 2003, Barbara Ruggerio, an employee of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud by filing phony claims of $1.7 million against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Ms. Ruggerio was a long time employee of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company who submitted phony claims under names of her relatives.

Ruggerio had been a claims manager for Liberty Mutual, supervising more than twenty employees in the company's Marlton office. Her position gave her the authority to approve payment on insurance claims of up to $100,000.00.

She plead guilty before U. S. District Court Judge Anne Thompson, subjecting herself to a five year federal prison term and a $250,000.00 fine.

On Friday, May 23, 2003, an employee of Allstate Insurance Company of Moorestown, NJ, was charged with submitting phony claims of $300,000.00 against Allstate Insurance Company. This employee did essentially the same thing that Barbara Ruggerio did, she submitted phony claims in the names of relatives and then collected the fees.

Insurance companies who do business in the State of New Jersey are very active in promoting the fact that New Jersey's rates are the highest in the nation and that the system is ripe with fraud. They allege the fact that lawyers and doctors have ruined the system. These two cases are only small examples of the internal fraud that goes on in insurance companies. Their own employees built the system and defraud the companies of millions of dollars. Obviously, the insurance companies simply pass these losses on to you, the consumers. It is you the consumers who are ultimately defrauded while the insurance companies blame the fraud on you, doctors, and lawyers.

Despite drastic changes in the New Jersey Insurance Laws in 1989 and 1999, both of which mandated rate reductions, rates have not gone down. Instead they have gone up. While the Legislature places a band aide on a broken down system, rates continue to go up. Instead what happens is that consumers lose more of their rights. They lose the right to select treatment if they are injured in automobile accidents, they lose the right to full payment of their medical bills, and they lose the right to recover if they are injured. The system is broken and cannot be fixed. The only solution is to scrap the system with its corrupt insurance companies now.

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