www.Justice.gov, Press Release, October 24, 2022
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARC ELEFANT, a New York lawyer, pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent insurance reimbursements and other compensation from fraudulent trip-and-fall accidents. ELEFANT is the third defendant to plead guilty this year. Two other defendants — ADRIAN ALEXANDER, the owner of a litigation funding company, and SADY RIBEIRO, a New York-licensed pain management doctor and surgeon — pled guilty earlier this year. ALEXANDER pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud on August 30, 2022. RIBEIRO pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud on September 29, 2022. All defendants pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “We expect lawyers to follow the rules and act ethically on behalf of their clients, but attorney Marc Elefant acted only for himself, abusing his professional license and position of trust to steal over a million dollars from New York City businesses and their insurance companies through a massive trip-and-fall fraud scheme. Elefant and his co-conspirators preyed upon the most vulnerable members of society in order to enrich themselves. Elefant now awaits sentencing for his reprehensible crime.”
According to the Indictment, the Superseding Information filed against ELEFANT, other documents filed in this case, and statements made in court:
MARC ELEFANT, among others, was involved in an extensive fraud scheme through which fraud scheme participants defrauded businesses and insurance companies by staging trip-and-fall accidents and filing fraudulent lawsuits arising from those staged trip-and-fall accidents.
The fraud scheme participants recruited individuals (the “Patients”) to stage or falsely claim to have suffered trip-and-fall accidents at particular locations throughout the New York City area (the “Accident Sites”). In the course of the fraud scheme, scheme participants recruited more than 400 Patients. In the beginning, scheme participants would instruct Patients to claim they had tripped and fallen at a particular location, when in fact, the Patients had suffered no such accidents. Eventually, at the direction of the lawyers who filed fraudulent lawsuits on behalf of the Patients, scheme participants began to instruct Patients to stage trip-and-fall accidents, i.e., to go to a location and deliberately fall. Common Accident Sites used during the fraud scheme included cellar doors, cracks in concrete sidewalks, and purported “potholes.” Continue Press Release