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Northeastern News

1HomePageMap small ne 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine

A sixth Baltimore Police officer was sentenced April 13 for his role in a massive kickback scheme involving an auto body shop, receiving two years in prison and being ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution.

Officer Rafael Concepcion Feliciano Jr., 31, admitted last year that he referred accident vehicles to the Majestic Auto Body shop in Rosedale after being introduced to the store's owners by a fellow officer, Rodney Cintron, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors estimate that Feliciano alone caused a loss of between $120,000 and $200,000. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Feliciano to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution of $24,084, of which $10,000 will go to the Baltimore Police Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Fifteen officers pleaded guilty in the scheme, and another was convicted by a federal jury, while dozens more were implicated in the probe. The six officers who have been sentenced have received between eight and 30 months in prison, putting Feliciano's sentence on the higher end.

March 28th, 2012---Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) described the Senate legislation to combat auto insurance fraud which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year. The legislation would create stronger penalties for individuals who commit insurance fraud and stage auto accidents.

“Auto insurance fraud costs New Yorkers over $1 billion every year, driving our already expensive auto insurance premiums even higher. Stronger penalties are needed to combat auto insurance fraud and protect law-abiding drivers from criminals who steal from our pockets and jeopardize our safety,” said Senator Fuschillo, who supported the legislation in the Senate.

March 22---The New York State Senate passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Camden Iron & Metal, based in Camden, N.J., is relocating its scrap processing operations from Philadelphia to Camden.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the company’s decision to relocate its scrap processing operations to Camden follows attempts to relocate and consolidate operations in the Philadelphia area. The company had acquired an abandoned 44-acre facility in Eddystone, Pa., and had planned to install a large auto shredder at the location.
However, strong opposition by residents surrounding the Eddystone site bogged down the company’s plans to relocate. And, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the final decision to relocate to Camden came after Pennsylvania Gove. Tom Corbett rescinded a $31.1 million pledge made by the former governor to build a pier on the Delaware River at Camden Iron’s proposed location.

We asked John Thomas, owner of Thomas Auto Body Shop in Hingham, MA, about his company as it passes its 50-year anniversary this year. The following is an edited version of our conversation.

I attended my second consecutive AASP/NJ Northeast Trade Show, officially show number 36, on March 9 and 10 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. As I spend more time at these kinds of events I begin to appreciated how much there is to learn in this complicated business of collision repair. It is a very educational and useful event that collision repairers should make the effort to attend next year if possible.