An elaborate insurance fraud scheme that authorities allege used dead deer to fake car accidents has resulted in charges against 41 people in Philadelphia.
Ronald Galati Sr. is accused by prosecutors of running a $5 million scam out of his auto body shop.
District Attorney Seth Williams said Wednesday 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.
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Investigators say Galati stored deer carcasses, blood and fur in the back of his shop to use as props.
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 presentment but that his client is innocent until proven guilty.
One recent deer-car accident would be hard to fake. In suburban Chicago, a 200-pound deer leapt from an overpass on Sunday and landed on a minivan as it traveled along an Illinois interstate.
Heidi Conner told The Arlington Heights Daily Herald that the doe came to rest in the middle of the West Dundee family's Chevy. She and her four children were traveling about 70 mph on a tollway.
Conner says the crash totaled the van and caused minor injuries.
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