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Newton Man Pleads Guilty to Auto Insurance Fraud

Authorities say the defendant "engaged in illegal activities to defraud customers and insurance companies all for his own financial gain."

A Newton man pleaded guilty today to insurance fraud charges after he illegally filed fake insurance claims through his Somerville auto body shop, according to a press release from the Middlesex County District Attorney. 

Michael Block, 40, pleaded guilty in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of insurance fraud, larceny, forgery and uttering false statements.

Judge Gary Inge sentenced Block to two and a half years in the House of Correction with five years probation after his jail sentence, with a condition that he pays approximately $14,000 in restitution to five automobile insurance companies, the press release said.

“The defendant engaged in illegal activities to defraud customers and insurance companies all for his own financial gain,” Middlesex County District Attorney Leone said in a press release. “I applaud the collaborative work of multiple agencies involved in this investigation to end this fraudulent activity.”

According to authorities, Block, who operated Motor Sports, Inc. in Somerville, used the registration number of another auto body shop to file false insurance claims and receive money from different insurance companies. 

Block would tell customers seeking vehicle repairs to provide insurance companies with a false version of how the damage happened, the press release said. Block would then increase the damage to vehicles to receive additional money from the insurance companies.

Authorities witnessed Block moving customer cars to different parking lots and video surveillance revealed Block was increasing the damage on vehicles, the press release said. 

Block was arrested in May 2011, indicted in June 2011 and arraigned in August 2011. 

A full copy of the DA's press release is included below:

Newton Man Pleads Guilty To Auto Insurance Fraud

WOBURN – A Newton man has pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and larceny charges for illegally filing fake insurance claims through his Somerville auto body shop, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.

Michael Block, 40, of Newton, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of insurance fraud, larceny, forgery, and uttering false statements.  Middlesex Superior Court Judge Gary Inge sentenced the defendant to two and a half years in the house of correction with five years probation from and after his jail sentence with a condition that he pays approximately $14,000 in restitution to five automobile insurance companies.

“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.”

According to authorities, the defendant operated a Somerville company called Motor Sports, Inc.  In the fall of 2010, the defendant fraudulently utilized the registration number of another auto body shop to file false insurance claims and receive money from various insurance companies.

The defendant told customers, who were seeking vehicle repairs, to provide insurance companies with a false version of how the damage occurred.  The defendant would then increase the damage to vehicles to gain additional money from insurance companies. 

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, authorities observed the defendant moving customer cars to different parking lots.  Officials recorded video surveillance of the defendant enhancing the damage on vehicles.  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.

The defendant was indicted by a Middlesex Grand Jury on June 28, 2011 and arraigned August 2, 2011 in Middlesex Superior Court.

The case was investigated by Governor’s Auto Theft Strike Force, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

The Assistant District Attorneys prosecuting the case were Elisha Willis, Chief of the PACT Unit, and Kristen Noto. 


alexa anders November 08, 2012 at 08:14 AM
Several years back, there was a popular video of a male crashing a Bugatti Veyron into the lake. The male in question, Andy House, is currently being sued over the unpleasant incident. The article is featured here: http://www.cardealexpert.com/news-information/auto-news/andy-house. The article also says that Andy made some suspicious claims in his insurance paperwork and his insurance firm is not entertained.

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