fake shipwrecks for real insurance scam in Corsica

The Ajaccio prosecution requested, Thursday 1er July, fines, bans on exercising a profession and sentences ranging from suspended prison sentences to three years in prison for around thirty defendants who have been appearing before the court since Tuesday to answer for acts of fraud at the boat insurance unearthed in the Imperial City.

In the legal world, this “fraud of opportunity” widespread, to use the expression of the prosecutor Françoise Mariaux in her indictment, was baptized “Titanic case”. The damage is around 1.7 million euros at the expense of eleven insurance companies.

The investigations carried out by the gendarmes revealed a whole range of economic offenses that occurred from 2012 to 2017, such as money laundering, tax evasion, abuse of corporate assets and complicity in these same offenses. The soldiers seized cars, boats and sums in bank accounts with a total value of 808,000 euros.

At the heart of the system, the scam was well established with a “triumvirate” gathering a yachtsman, a nautical professional and an unscrupulous expert.

Salty quotes

In most cases, after a hit of tobacco, the individual made, on the advice of the nautical professional, a false declaration of accident or theft. “The false invoices established without too much embarrassment shipwrecks occurring in the same place in the Gulf of Ajaccio on the same rock, transcribed with the same words, the same spelling mistakes and the salvage costs were not cashed by the boat seller »quipped prosecutor Mariaux, recalling that in this case, twelve other individuals had recognized the scams via an appearance on prior admission of guilt.

Once the loss had been established, the maritime surveyor came on the scene to overestimate the damage and classified the technically or economically irreparable boats in a complacent report and sent a hefty quote to the insurer.

The yachtsman received de facto a plump insurance indemnity that he could choose to collect and he sold his wreck free of charge (or against a small sum of money) to the professional who put it back afloat to resell it advantageously. Otherwise, the individual could also remain the captain of his ship but in this specific case, he returned the loot in part (or in full) to the professional who had blown him the trick.

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