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Cuomo Signs Legislation Making Staged Motor Vehicle Accents A Class E Felony

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation (A.3985/S.2508) creating a Class E felony for staged motor vehicle accidents when a person intentionally causes a motor vehicle collision with the intent to commit a fraudulent insurance act.

The law also creates a class D felony for when a person commits the same crime and causes serious physical injury to another individual who was not a participant in the crime. The legislation was approved 139-2 in the state Assembly with both Assemblymen Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voting in favor.

“In New York, we have zero tolerance for insurance fraud, and anyone who puts others in physical danger to further their scheme should be punished accordingly,” Cuomo said, “By signing this legislation into law, we are holding reckless individuals accountable by strengthening penalties for motor vehicle insurance fraud and taking a significant step to make our roads safer for every New Yorker.”

The legislation is named after Alice Ross, a devoted wife and grandmother, who was on her way to visit her daughter and grandchildren when her automobile was struck by another vehicle triggering a crash that resulted in her untimely death. This tragedy was the result of an intentional attempt to commit auto insurance fraud by the other driver who planned to file insurance claims and receive a substantial settlement as a result of the crash.

“‘Alice’s Law’ is named after a constituent of mine, Alice Ross, who was killed in a staged auto accident in an attempt to exploit New York’s no-fault insurance law,” said Assemblyman David Weprin, D-Hollis. “The signing of this legislation closes loopholes in the insurance law, adds higher penalties for those who stage auto accidents, and rightfully honors the memory of Alice Ross. I thank Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for signing this important law and Senator Anna M. Kaplan for carrying this bill the Senate.”

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