Speed Reads

Crime and punishment

Dozens charged with using dead deer in $5 million insurance scam


What do a police officer, insurance adjuster, tow truck driver, and city official have in common? They're all facing charges in a $5 million insurance fraud scheme that involved dead deer and staged car accidents.

NBC Philadelphia reports that South Philadelphia auto body shop owner Ronald Galati Sr. and 40 others are accused of setting up several scams, including one where Galati's customers would say they hit a deer and not a car — that way, the insurance company would consider it a "no fault" accident and not raise their premium. Prosecutors say Galati — whose motto, according to a co-conspirator, was "I live my life to cheat insurance companies" — coached his customers on exactly what to report, and even stored deer carcasses, fur, and blood in his shop. They also say he didn't act alone; his wife, son, and daughter, as well as multiple tow truck drivers and insurance adjusters, a police officer, and a city official have all been charged with participating in various scams.