More arrested in insurance fraud case

Two believed to be part of criminal conspiracy to defraud both the National Insurance Institute and private insurance companies.

Natl Insurance 224.8 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Natl Insurance 224.8
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A day after police arrested more than a dozen suspects believed to be involved in a lucrative insurance fraud scam, two more suspects were arrested and others detained Wednesday for questioning in connection with the scheme, which investigators believe has been ongoing since the early part of the decade. One of the two new suspects nabbed Wednesday is a 43-year-old Tel Aviv resident who is the owner of MTN, a company that specializes in providing care for victims of work accidents. Police believe that together with others, including doctors, the suspect participated in a criminal conspiracy to defraud both the National Insurance Institute and private insurance companies. This suspect, police claim, operated as a go-between to whom the "accident victims" were referred to receive false documentation. The second suspect arrested Wednesday is a 39-year-old Rishon Lezion resident suspected of submitting false insurance documents. The two, who were arrested a day after the affair became public, were far from the only people believed to be involved who have been visited by police officers. Police said that a number of other people have been called in for questioning, as police tried to understand how and to what degree the individuals in question were involved in the alleged scam. Late Tuesday night, the police announced that three suspects had been released under restricted terms. Only the seven doctors, the two lead suspects, 52-year-old Rishon Lezion resident Zemach Yosef and Reuven Avdo, 41, from Kfar Saba, and two of Yosef's children remained behind bars Wednesday. All seven of the doctors arrested Tuesday under suspicion of accepting bribes to write false medical opinions are expected to make their second court appearance in the Ramle Magistrate's Court Thursday, where the police will request that their remands be extended for a second time. The Tel Aviv resident arrested Wednesday will also join them in the courtroom, where police will request that his remand also be extended. On Tuesday, police revealed the details of their operation - known as "White Robe" - which was conducted by the National Economic Crimes Unit, together with the National Insurance Institute and the Avner insurance company. Police believe that suspects staged, exaggerated and even caused vehicle collisions and work accidents in order to claim payoffs for life insurance and for bodily injury.