Another Lawsuit Reaches Settlement

The Florida assignment of benefits (AOB) fraud lawsuit between Government Employees Insurance Co., GEICO Indemnity Co., GEICO General Insurance Company and GEICO Casualty Co. (collectively GEICO) and the defendants: Smart Ride (originally organized under the name Chipio Windshield Repair, LLC), Andrew Baker, Gerald Salko, Lawrence Tenebaum, and Michael Meryash (all of whom controlled Smart Ride), the Baumer Group LLC, Stealing Home LLC and Rekaba LLC reached a settlement, and the case is expected to be dismissed.

Both parties submitted a joint motion for dismissal following mediation, according to court documents. The terms and conditions discussed in the mediation and settlement were not disclosed.

Background

At the beginning of this year, GEICO alleged the defendants were responsible for a “fraudulent scheme” that involved hundreds of unlawful auto glass claim submissions to the auto insurance company. GEICO’s complaint alleges that the defendants “wrongly obtaining more than $144,000 by submitting fraudulent and unlawful windshield reimbursement claims,” for the last four years.

According to GEICO, Baker, Salko, Tenebaum, and Meryash owned and controlled Smart Ride through Stealing Home and Baumer. The insurance company also alleged the group worked with Rekaba, LLC (Rekaba) to produce fraudulent claims for auto glass services that were submitted through Smart Ride. According to GEICO, the defendants at no point “maintained any vehicles or tools for use in providing glass services, and did not maintain any glass inventory.”

GEICO provided the following reasons why it should not be responsible for paying for the defendant’s reimbursement claims:

  • The claims involved phony glass services that were not necessary, reparative, or in some cases actually performed;
  • The claims were the product of illegal, deceptive, unfair, and manipulative conduct directed at GEICO insureds; and
  • The claims were submitted through Smart Ride, which never actually performed the services, never obtained valid assignments of insurance benefits from the insureds, and was ineligible to seek reimbursement from GEICO for the claims in the first instance.
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