An NYPD cop was arrested by feds as part of the take down of a massive $18 million insurance fraud scam, authorities Thursday.
Officer Yaniris Deleon was taken into custody while on duty in Manhattan Wednesday by federal agents with drawn assault weapons, sources said.
Nurses at city hospitals are among 26 other defendants in the case.
Deleon, along with four NYPD 911 operators and a supervisor, are accused of selling scammers names, phone numbers and confidential information about car crash victims they had access to as part of their jobs. The nurses are accused of similar conduct.
“There is no place for corruption within the NYPD,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “By tarnishing the shield, as well as their sacred oaths, these employees will be held the highest account the law provides.”
Other defendants allegedly reached out to the victims and steered them toward clinics on the scammers’ payroll in both New York and New Jersey, according to authorities.
Doctors and lawyers would then bilk medical insurance companies for procedures that were never done or completely unnecessary, and give the scammers kickbacks, prosecutors charge.
The names, addresses and contact numbers for about 60,000 crash victims were steered to the scam artists over the last five years, officials said.
Deleon is normally assigned to the 42nd Precinct in the Melrose section of the Bronx but had been assigned to “barricade duty” in Manhattan when she was apprehended by the feds, sources said.
The NYPD employees arrested are 911 operators Angela Myers, Latifa Abdul-Khaliq, Shakeema Foster, Kourtnei Williams and 911 operator supervisor Makkah Shabazz, officials said.
Five of the NYPD employees were immediately suspended after their arrest, officials said. Abdul-Khaliq resigned from the department in May.
Deleon, who sources said recently had a baby, is accused of providing the leaders of the scheme with the names and numbers of two dozen crash victims. The defendants would send the names over online messaging systems like WhatsApp, officials said.
She and the other NYPD employees were told they would be paid about $4,000 a month and make anywhere between $24,000 and $30,000 "off the books” if they kept the fraudsters flush with names.
The scammers they gave names to then made about $3,000 per shady referral, netting about $18 million over five years, authorities charge.
The scam, allegedly led by Anthony Rose, has been running since 2014, officials said. Rose, who also went by the name Todd Chambers, received names and numbers from about 50 people.
He would then give the names and numbers to about 15 underlings working in a “call center in Brooklyn” to reach out to the victims with a pre-approved script, officials said.
Rose told the callers to target victims in minority communities because he believed they would be easy marks, according to the feds.
[More New York] ‘His behavior toward her changed dramatically’: Heartbroken dad recalls waiting for call that never came from his daughter, killed in NYC along with her own child by deranged husband »
“The hood is number one,” Rose allegedly told co-conspirators. “All that Manhattan s--t, those people got attorneys. We need all the hood cases.”
When they reached out to victims, the middlemen would claim they were from a group affiliated with the city Department of Transportation and obtained their names and numbers through a “personal injury hotline.”
The callers brazenly lied to the accident victims, claiming that they were calling to protect them from people who obtain victims’ information illegally and mislead them into seeking treatment with certain providers, federal officials said.
All of the defendants are expected to appear in Manhattan Federal Court Thursday afternoon. They are facing charges of medical fraud and wrongful disclosure of healthcare information.
“These actions have undermined the integrity of our emergency and medical first responders," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said. "This Office is committed to rooting out corruption wherever it is found, and will not rest until those who seek to profit by corrupting our public institutions are bought to justice.”