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Fraud for the Lord

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August 18, 2006
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This is my favourite entry from the US based Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame.

You don’t normally consider insurance fraud a higher spiritual calling. But Rev. Roland Gray insists that swindling insurers was part of his ministry.

So now Gray must render unto Caesar 4 1/2 years in jail for a crime spree involving crashed cars, fake accidents and fake falls on banana peels that stole an unholy fortune from insurers.

“I let the Lord lead me and this is the way He instructed me,” the Chicago man of the Cloth told reporters.

In fact the Missionary Baptist minister said God “instructed” him to fake 177 accidents in which cars crashed, ran off the road, or supposedly collided with deer or pedestrians. Many claims involved fake injuries.

Gray and his cronies once submitted four claims for four different crashes – all on the same day and involving the same people. A brick supposedly crashed through one car window and injured people who weren’t even in town that day.

Gray even involved his own parishioners. He paid for car insurance, then asked a man for a ride and recruited him as part of a fake crash.

He also recruited his brother Elija – who also was a minister – as a fake accident victim.

“Roland and Elijah have had so many X-rays that I wouldn’t be surprised if they glowed in the dark,” one insurance investigator told reporters.

Gray also filed numerous slip-and-fall accidents in businesses and motels from Wisconsin to Alabama. He and various family members claimed they fell off uneven mattresses and tripped over furniture and banana peels.

All told, Gray raked in nearly half a million dollars in insurance money. He filed mostly small claims with 45 insurers to stay under the radar screen. But his unholy empire finally came crashing down when a chiropractor who created fake injury reports for Gray, let the FBI set up a secret camera in his office to film the schemes.

Did God tell Gray to steal insurance money?

“No I didn’t steal nothing. I paid premiums and they (insurers) had a right to pay,” he told reporters.

So why did he plead guilty if he was so innocent?

“You know what? Jesus said give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and give unto God the things that are God’s, and that’s what I did,” Gray said.

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