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4 NYPD Officers Charged in Insurance Scam

November 13, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Four police officers were charged Thursday in an alleged scheme to cheat insurance companies out of nearly $230,000 with fake car accident reports.

The officers _ Trinidad Martinez; her brother, Julian Martinez; Ernesto Colon and Irvin Maldonado _ were arraigned on charges including receiving bribes, grand larceny and insurance fraud. Each was released without bail.

Bronx prosecutors accused the officers of fabricating reports about accidents that never happened and forging signatures of unsuspecting fellow officers. In some cases the officers allegedly accepted payoffs of $250 to $1,000 per report.

The reports were used by other defendants to file and collect thousands of dollars in fraudulent medical claims with Allstate, State Farm and other insurance companies.

Stuart London, an attorney for Colon and Maldonado, said both officers ``are confident that, once this matter is fully litigated, they’ll be exonerated.″

An attorney for the Martinez siblings, John Patten, said his clients ``deny any wrongdoing.″

If convicted, the officers could face sentences of up to seven years in prison.

The officers were arrested Wednesday and suspended from the New York Police Department.

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