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North Hills family arraigned in $192,000 auto insurance fraud scheme

News: 2024 Press Release

For Release: January 31, 2024
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North Hills family arraigned in $192,000 auto insurance fraud scheme

LOS ANGELES — Shannon Ninio, 60, of North Hills, was arraigned today for insurance fraud after a Department of Insurance investigation found she and her husband, Moshe Ninio, allegedly stole customers’ personal information and used that information to file over 40 fraudulent auto insurance claims and collect nearly $200,000 in undeserved payouts. Moshe Ninio was arraigned on 18 felony counts of insurance fraud on December 22, 2023. The Ninios’ son-in-law, Ivan Lebedynets, 33, of Winnetka, was also arraigned earlier this week for his alleged involvement in the scheme.

The Department began its investigation after an insurance company alleged that Moshe Ninio, owner of AT Car Rental, stole the identities of his customers to obtain auto insurance policies in their name to insure his fleet of rental cars. Shannon Ninio was also owner of the company and Lebedynets was their employee.

The investigation found that when their customers would get into legitimate accidents, Moshe Ninio would file insurance claims impersonating his identity theft victims who were listed as the policyholder. While posing as that policyholder, he would claim he gave permission to a “friend,” who was actually the current vehicle renter, to drive the vehicle, all to disguise their rental car business. Shannon Ninio and Lebedynets also allegedly posed as policyholders for many of the claims. Between September 2018 and July of 2020, 47 auto insurance claims were filed under the fraudulent policies. The total paid loss for the claims was $192,282.

During the course of this investigation, 15 individuals who were listed as policyholders were interviewed and the majority of the identity theft victims stated they had previously rented vehicles from Moshe Ninio. They also stated that they never opened any of the fraudulent insurance policies and that their personal information was used without their permission.

Moshe and Shannon Ninio were arrested December 21, 2023. Lebedynets self-surrendered and was arraigned on January 29, 2024. All three are scheduled to return to court on April 10, 2024. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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Media note:

Arrest photos of the Ninios available upon request.

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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