The New York State Insurance Department and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced the arrest of two Brooklyn residents who are charged with insurance fraud and grand larceny for filing false life insurance claims totaling $1.2 million.
Dewan Bachai, 31, and Balita Bachai, 18, of 195 Bay 32nd Street, Brooklyn were arrested last Friday morning at their home by investigators from the Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau and District Attorney'sMrs. Bachai had allegedly filed claims with several life insurance companies asserting her husband had died while on a trip to his native Guyana to visit his ailing father. Mrs. Bachai at first filed a death certificate alleging her husband's death was due to hepatitis. Later she filed a second death certificate asserting that after an exhumation and autopsy of her husband's body it was found that he had died of accidental gunshot wounds to the chest. Claims of accidental death involved higher death benefits under Mr. Bachai's policies.
After complaints by insurance companies an investigation by the insurance department indicated that all the facts of the death, the exhumation and autopsy were falsified. Subsequent investigation located Mr. Bachai in Brooklyn.
Dewan Bachai had insurance policies with the following companies: Manhattan Life Insurance for $250,000, accidental $200,000; Metropolitan Life, $430,000, accidental $250,000; and a group policy from Phoenix Mutual, on which the
Bachai's actually collected $64,500. If all the insurance companies had paid the claims, the total cash value of the alleged fraud would have totaled nearly $1.2 million.
The Bachai's are each charged with three counts of insurance fraud in the second degree and one count of grand larceny in the second degree, both C felonies. They each face up to 15 years in prison.
The arrests were announced by Kevin Foley, Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Department and Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgethau. Al Torosian of the Insurance Department's Frauds Bureau was the lead investigator on the case.