For Immediate Release - March 12, 2010

Malden Man Charged in Connection with Using Stolen Identities to Sell Fraudulent Commercial Auto Insurance Policies

Insurance Agent Also Indicted In Connection With Case

BOSTON - Yesterday, a car salesman was arrested, and indicted along with an auto insurance agent in connection with allegedly stealing valid information from Massachusetts driver's licenses and using that information to create fraudulent commercial auto insurance policies for individuals who could not lawfully obtain those policies. A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indictments against Wanderson Silva, age 31, of Malden, on charges of Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud (12 counts), Stealing Operator's License (9 counts), Accepting Gifts to Influence Business Affairs (3 counts), Larceny over $250 (12 counts) and Conspiracy to Commit insurance Fraud (5 counts). Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office arrested Silva yesterday in Quincy . He was then transported to Suffolk Superior Court where he was arraigned.

Virgin Lima, age 41, of Milford, was also indicted today on charges of Motor Vehicle Insurance Fraud (5 counts), Accepting Gifts to Influence Business Affairs (2 counts), Conspiracy to Commit Insurance Fraud (5 counts) and Larceny over $250 (5 counts). She will be arraigned on April 13, 2010.

In August 2008, the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts began an investigation and referred the alleged scheme to the Attorney General's Office in June 2009. Authorities allege that Silva, a car salesman at a dealer in Somerville, allegedly orchestrated several fraudulent commercial motor vehicle insurance policies for unlicensed individuals through Lima, a licensed insurance agent at Brighton Insurance Company (Brighton Insurance) in Brighton. In order to obtain a private motor vehicle insurance policy in Massachusetts, the Division of Insurance and Massachusetts law requires all foreign operators to have a valid Massachusetts license if they have been in the United States for more than one year. Investigators discovered that Silva's customers had been in the United States for more than one year and do not have valid Massachusetts licenses. Therefore, these customers could not lawfully register their vehicles and obtain motor vehicle insurance policies.

Authorities allege that Silva promised all of his customers' insurance policies if they bought their vehicles from his dealership. In order for Silva to obtain insurance on these vehicles without the customers having valid driver's licenses, Silva allegedly enlisted the help of Lima. Investigators discovered that Silva would bring his customers to Lima, use the valid licenses of unsuspecting former customers, and then she would use her work computer to create fraudulent commercial motor vehicle insurance policies for Silva's clients listing them as drivers. Authorities allege that both Silva and Lima accepted payment from these clients in order to create the fraudulent policies.

IFB investigators discovered that Lima allegedly created 12 fraudulent commercial auto policies during the period of January 2006 through January 2008. In order to accomplish this, authorities allege that Silva created fictitious company names to obtain the policies and insure the vehicles of his clients. Silva's customers did not have licenses nor did they have their own businesses. Since a licensed individual must be listed as the driver for the commercial company, Silva allegedly stole personal information previous customers who had valid Massachusetts licenses without their consent. Authorities believe that these valid drivers were listed as the operators associated with the fictitious companies, that they did not know they were listed as the owners of these policies or that these policies ever existed.

Today, a Suffolk County Grand Jury returned indicts against Lima and Silva. Silva was arraigned today in Suffolk Superior Court after his arrest. He pled not guilty and was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail. He is scheduled to next appear in court on April 13, 2010 . Lima will be summonsed for arraignment on April 13, 2010, in Suffolk Superior Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Jeremy Eisemann and Jennifer Cotter, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Insurance and Unemployment Fraud Division. The case was investigated by the IFB. Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office also assisted with the case.

#########