Fugitive Arrested in $500,000 Car Rental Scam

A Sherman Oaks, Calif., man has been arrested following an investigation that revealed multiple fraudulent automobile insurance claims were allegedly submitted to car rental and insurance companies by Moshe "Sanny" Assoulin, 35, and co-conspirators, the Insurance Journal reports.

Assoulin was arrested in Israel on Aug. 19 by Israeli National Police on charges of insurance fraud, grand theft, identity theft, and other federal charges. Assoulin is an Israeli national who grew up in California's San Fernando Valley.

Nine defendants have pleaded guilty to various insurance fraud related charges in connection with this case.

Under the alleged scheme, a person would rent a vehicle from a car rental company and return it a day or two later with slight damage. The renter would report that he or she had accidentally struck a parked unoccupied vehicle. Another person would then contact the car rental company as the owner of the parked unoccupied vehicle, and submit a claim for property damages. The same vehicles with the same damages were used repeatedly in multiple claims.

According to Insurance Journal, one of the vehicles, a 1997 Mercedes Benz SL600, was used in 10 claims, and various insurance companies paid more than $100,000 in settlements for alleged damages to the vehicle. The potential loss to the various car rental and insurance companies is estimated at nearly $500,000.

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