Deer-Carcass Insurance Scam Nets $5M

Robert Galati Sr. and 40 others from Philadelphia face charges related to an insurance fraud scheme of using dead deer to fake no-fault car accidents.

Deer-Carcass Insurance Scam Nets $5M
Flickr / Airwolfhound

It's one of the most unusual insurance scams we've ever heard of: using dead deer to fake car accidents. 

"The district attorney says 63-year-old Robert Galati Sr. used his Philadelphia auto shop as part of the scheme. Forty other people are also being accused of taking part in this." (Via WTXF)

Those 40 people include Galati's wife and children, as well as a city official and a Philadelphia police officer. Officials say it took about 16 months to gather enough information about what they're calling a two-part, $5 million insurance scam. According to WCAU, officials say part one involved...

"Galati exaggerating or staging car accidents to reap big insurance pay-outs. And former Philly cop Douglas DiEmidio falsifying the police reports."

WCAU reports court documents say Galati lived by the motto, "I live my life to cheat insurance companies—my high every day is to cheat insurance companies."

Authorities say Galati would use blood and hair from deer carcasses he stored in his auto body shop, according to WPVI. They say he then told customers who'd actually hit other vehicles to lie to their insurance companies and claim they'd hit deer.

"Those are considered no-fault accidents by insurance companies." says the second part of Galati's alleged scheme involved a city official securing a $1.8 million city contract for Galati. 

Even though Galati's business didn't meet all the requirements, the official is accused of falsifying paperwork saying "the shop had a specialized welder needed to work on police cars." 

The city terminated that contract in December, though, after Galati was arrested for attempted murder, solicitation of murder and witness intimidation. Officials say he hired hit men to kill people set to testify against him in a grand jury investigation of the insurance fraud accusations. (Via Philadelphia Trial Blog)

On top of those felony charges, Galati now faces charges of hundreds of counts of conspiracy, theft by deception and insurance fraud. Philadelphia police are currently in the process of arresting those other 40 suspects in the scheme.