June 29, 1995 in Nation/World

Con Artist Reveals Family Scam Ring

Associated Press
 

A slip-and-fall artist got 20 months in prison for his part in a family ring that roamed the country bilking insurance companies by faking falls in stores, driveways and restaurants.

“I blame nobody but myself,” David Ballog Jr., 49, said as he was sentenced on Wednesday. He had pleaded guilty to fraud.

Ballog came forward in 1993 to confess that his family had defrauded insurance companies of more than $758,000, saying it was only a matter of time before authorities tracked them down.

Between 1989 and 1994, the ring filed 73 claims in 15 states involving car accidents and thefts, slip-and-fall accidents, homeowner injuries and burglaries - all staged or fictitious, prosecutors said.

One member of the ring, for example, fractured a vertebra in the early 1980s, then went on to file 17 fraudulent claims blaming it on phony falls.

Members of the ring, including Ballog’s mother, three sons, a daughter-in-law, a former daughter-in-law, three sisters-in-law, two nephews, two nieces and others - 31 people in all - drew blood with syringes and spread it on their mouths and noses to support their claims. All pleaded guilty to fraud and have been sentenced.

As part of his sentence, Ballog must work with the National Insurance Crime Bureau for three years after doing his time.

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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