PHILADELPHIA – Forty-one people in Philadelphia are facing charges in what prosecutors called an elaborate insurance fraud scheme that used dead deer to fake car accidents.
Ronald Galati Sr. is accused of running a $5 million scam out of his auto body shop.
District Attorney Seth Williams said that Galati coached customers to claim they’d struck a deer rather than a car. That way, insurance companies would consider them “no fault” accidents and pay the claims without raising the customers’ premiums.
Investigators said Galati stored deer carcasses, blood and fur in the back of his shop to use as props.
Deer weren’t the only props. Police also found dead geese and dogs.
Also charged are Galati’s wife, son and daughter, several insurance adjusters, tow truck drivers, a city official and a police officer.
Defense attorney Anthony Voci said he couldn’t comment specifically on the charges because he hadn’t seen the grand jury statement but he said that his client is innocent until proven guilty.