The Middlesex District Attorney’s office announced earlier this month that Michael Block, 40, of Newton has plead guilty to charges of insurance fraud, larceny, forgery and uttering false statements. The defendant had been indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury and arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in 2011.
“The defendant engaged in illegal activities to defraud customers and insurance companies all for his own financial gain,” District Attorney Leone said. “I applaud the collaborative work of multiple agencies involved in this investigation to end this fraudulent activity.”
Authorities say that during an investigation by the Governor’s Auto Theft Strike Force, a division within in the Massachusetts State Police, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, they monitored and witnessed the defendant moving customer cars to different parking lots. In response, the officials set up a video surveillance of Mr. Block which captured the defendant increasing or enhancing the damage to his customer’s vehicles. Officials then said:
The defendant or the client would submit the insurance claim with the intent of the defendant receiving part of the money. A further investigation revealed that the defendant told a customer to tell the insurance company that damage to her vehicle was caused by a hit and run driver. A forensic review of the vehicle showed that further damage to the car occurred while the car was in the defendant’s possession and that parts paid by the insurance company to be replaced were not in fact replaced.
As a result of the investigation and Mr. Block’s plea, Middlesex Superior Court Judge Gary Inge sentenced the defendant to two and half years in the house of correction with five years probation from and after his jail sentence. Mr. Block must also pay approximately $14,000 in restitution to five automobile insurance companies.