Owner of Boro Park body shop indicted in scam

On June 23, Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynesannounced the indictment of the owner of a Boro Park auto body shopaccused of falsifying insurance claims and intentionally damagingcars, in order to justify additional repairs.

Police allegedly found more than $700,000 in the home of EllieBerger, president of Perfect Collision, and his 2011 applicationfor public assistance, quoting his weekly salary at $350. Bergerand Perfect Collision employee Hershy Greenberger are the twodefendants named in the lawsuit.

Auto insurance fraud costs Brooklyn residents hundreds ofthousands of dollars a year in increased premiums, and my officewill prosecute all such crimes to the fullest extent of the law,Hynes said in an official statement released by the DA’soffice.

Berger and Greenberger are alleged to have posed as the owners ofvehicles brought to the body shop. They then would call theinsurance company directly and ask them to send the insured’ssettlement check to their post office box.

Eventually the insurance companies started to notice that whenevera car was taken to Perfect Collision, the payment went to the sameP.O. box, said a spokesperson for the DA’s office. That’s whywe’re expecting other cases to come out of this.

In addition to the insurance and welfare fraud charges, additionalcases held off from prosecution by other insurance companies so asto not jeopardize the investigation will now be brought forth,according to the DA’s office.

The alleged scam was exposed when GEICO claims adjusters (with somehelp from investigators from the DA’s office) took secret photos ofdamaged cars taken to Perfect Collision. When they returned laterto do their official cost assessment, they reportedly found thevehicles in significantly worse shape than when they were droppedoff.

Although prosecutors had requested that the defendants’ bail be setat $500,000, Berger was released on $25,000 bond and Greenbergerwas not required to pay bail.

These crooks thought they had found the perfect crime, but mydetective investigators quickly put the brakes on, preventinganother bogus collision, Hynes said.

By press time, repeated efforts to contact the body shop forcomment were unsuccessful.

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