DA: Brooklyn body shop inflated insurance bills

June 23, 2011 6:21:55 PM PDT
The Brooklyn district attorney says an auto body shop has been indicted in an insurance fraud case.

The Kings County District Attorney says $700,000 in cash came from an insurance scam at Perfect Auto Collision in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

"The defendants were taking cars, and were enhancing it so they could bill insurance more money," said Charles Hynes, the Kings County District Attorney.

The owner, Elie Berger, is charged with insurance fraud, grand larceny, and identity theft.

An employee, Hershy Greenberger, was indicted too.

The DA's office was tipped by a suspicious insurance adjuster off 15 months ago, so it sent an undercover investigator to get a repair.

"In addition, Geico paid the defendant a thousand dollars for a rental, even though our undercover refused the offer," Hynes said.

Even though investigators seized $700,000 cash, investigators say Berger applied for welfare, stating he only made $350 a week. So now he's being investigated for welfare fraud and insurance fraud.

"I know the guy, he's a very good guy," said Hiam Stern, a customer.

Despite the arrests, Perfect Auto Collision is still open for business.

No one inside would comment on the indictments, but confused customers wandered outside the locked gates.

"I came here because I heard the news and want to know what's going on, basically," said Hershy Rubinstein, a customer.

Delivery men who hadn't heard the news were turned away.