A fierce consumer rights advocate, New York attorney Raymond Joseph Zuppa has spent his career seeking justice for his clients. Previously serving as an Assistant District Attorney with the Office of the Kings County District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, Raymond Joseph Zuppa currently owns and operates The Zuppa Firm PLLC. Mr. Zuppa’s consumer advocacy is so respected that he received a 2008 nomination for Lexis/Nexis Legal Research Policyholder Attorney of the Year. Mr. Zuppa was also a key figure in drafting “anti-runner” legislation in New York as part of a multi-faceted approach to minimizing fraudulent claims. Below, Raymond Joseph Zuppa explains the anti-runner legislation.

No-fault insurance fraud harms honest consumers. While perpetrators of insurance crimes believe that they are obtaining money from large corporations, in truth, the insurance carriers pass those costs on to their customers. No-fault automobile insurance states like New York report a steady increase in fraud, and perhaps more disturbingly, an increase in violent criminals involved in the activity of defrauding insurance companies.

A typical insurance fraud follows a formula, and often involves multiple branches, including attorneys, health care providers, individuals, and “runners.” Because there is big money available in accident insurance fraud, attorneys and health care providers that engage in fraudulent activity often hire “runners,” people who get paid for finding patients/clients to participate in phony insurance claims. Fraudulent claims may involve staged accidents and inappropriate or excessive treatment.

As part of a multi-pronged approach to minimizing no-fault insurance fraud, the New York Legislature passed “anti-runner” legislation, which imposes misdemeanor charges, imprisonment, and civil penalties for each instance in which professionals utilize runners. Likewise, those acting as runners will receive similarly harsh penalties.