Anchorage Man Imprisoned for ‘Crash for Cash’ Insurance Scam
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 12, 2013|
ANCHORAGE—U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that an Anchorage resident who had been indicted for three separate instances of wire fraud in connection with an insurance scam was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Anchorage.
Rustem Mukhametshin, 26, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess, to 12 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and to make restitution payments totaling more than $70,000. Mukhametshin, who is a citizen of Russia, pled guilty in January 2013 and is scheduled to be deported from the United States at the conclusion of his prison sentence.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder, who prosecuted the case, Mukhametshin was a principle figure in a unique and extensive scheme to defraud insurance companies for tens of thousands of dollars. Mukhametshin exploited a weakness in the practices of the insurance companies since they generally do not inspect vehicles when they issue an insurance policy. The companies assume that the vehicle being insured is of a reasonable condition, making its value consistent with other cars of the same make, model, production year, and mileage. Mukhametshin exploited that practice by buying damaged cars at rates well below the standard value and then staging accidents with the damaged cars he purchased. The difference between the low value of the damaged cars and the value of an undamaged standard vehicle of similar model, year, mileage, was then taken as profit. Mukhametshin staged four of these accidents and only stopped the criminal activity after the insurance company refused to pay.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder further stated that Mukhametshin’s scheme was even more extensive because confederates of the defendant were staging similar fraudulent “accidents.” The loss amount directly attributable to the defendant’s actions was $70,656.70.
Ms. Loeffler commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation on this case.