Alleging fraud, Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) recently filed a RICO lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Lakeland) against 11 defendants over suspected falsified glass repair bill invoices.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO, is a U.S. federal law providing for extended criminal penalties. RICO can also be used as the basis for civil lawsuits.
In the complaint, GEICO contends that five companies and six known persons used customers’ information without their knowledge or consent to submit bills for fictional repairs. The insurance firm seeks to recover damages under both civil RICO action and Florida Consumer Protection statutes.
“GEICO has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to insurance fraud,” Ryan West, GEICO’s VP of claims, said. “Fraud against insurance companies is not a victimless crime; it hurts consumers through increased premiums and can unfairly harm the reputation of legitimate companies. Legislative reform in this area is long overdue.”
In Government Employees Insurance Company, et al. v. Jason Fry, et. al., GEICO claims it was systematically deceived in a complex scheme by an assortment of organizations and individuals.
GEICO, headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is the nation’s second-largest private passenger auto insurance company, insuring over 23 million vehicles annually.