www.Justice.gov, Press Release, December 16, 2022
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the convictions today in Manhattan federal court of GEORGE CONSTANTINE, a New York lawyer, and ANDREW DOWD, a New York orthopedic surgeon, for their participation in a massive trip-and-fall fraud scheme between 2013 and 2018. The jury convicted CONSTANTINE and DOWD following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein. Co-conspirators Marc Elefant, Sady Ribeiro, Adrian Alexander, Kerry Gordon, and Peter Kalkanis previously pled guilty before Judge Stein for their involvement in the same trip-and-fall fraud scheme. Co-conspirators Bryan Duncan, Ryan Rainford, and Robert Locust were convicted at trial in May 2019 before Judge Stein for their participation in the same trip-and-fall fraud scheme. Sentencing of CONSTANTINE and DOWD is scheduled for March 21, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Today’s unanimous jury verdict holds George Constantine, a lawyer, and Andrew Dowd, a doctor, accountable for their participation in a widespread fraud scheme that preyed upon poor, vulnerable, and at-times homeless individuals. These individuals were recruited to stage trip-and-fall accidents and undergo medically unnecessary surgeries performed by Dowd that were designed to increase the value of fraudulent personal injury lawsuits filed by Constantine. Constantine and Dowd abused their professional licenses, degrees, and titles to line their own pockets with millions of dollars, and they now face the prospect of lengthy prison sentences for their crimes.”
According to the allegations contained in the Superseding Indictment and the evidence presented in Court during the trial:
Between 2013 and 2018, CONSTANTINE and DOWD, among others, engaged in an extensive fraud scheme, in which individuals (the “Patients”) were recruited to stage trip-and-fall accidents and then undergo medically unnecessary surgeries in order to increase the value of the fraudulent personal injury lawsuits that were filed on their behalf against the owners of the accident sites and/or insurance companies of the owners of the accident sites (the “Victims”). During the course of the fraud scheme, CONSTANTINE and DOWD, together with others known and unknown, attempted to defraud the Victims of more than $31 million.
CONSTANTINE and DOWD relied upon a team of “runners” who were paid cash kickbacks by CONSTANTINE to recruit the Patients to stage or falsely claim to have suffered trip-and-fall accidents at particular locations throughout the New York City area. Common accident sites used during the fraud scheme included cellar doors, cracks in concrete sidewalks, and purported “potholes” in front of commercial establishments, such as gas stations, diners, and other businesses.
After their staged accidents, the Patients were directed to go to the hospital to obtain discharge papers and then were brought to CONSTANTINE’s office, by the carloads, where they met with CONSTANTINE briefly, after which CONSTANTINE would uniformly accept their case. CONSTANTINE failed to ask even the most basic questions during the intake process, including the locations of the purported accidents, and yet, would file fraudulent lawsuits, under penalty of perjury, on behalf of the Patients against the Victims. During the course of the scheme, CONSTANTINE filed nearly 200 fraudulent lawsuits and earned more than $5 million dollars in settlement fees from these fraudulent cases. Continue Press Release