Trucking Couple Indicted For $800,000 Food Spoil Insurance Fraud Scheme

A Florida couple is facing serious charges for allegedly making false claims about spoiled refrigerated cargo and then collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance payouts.

According to a release from the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, trucking company owners Alexei Legassov, 55, and Ekaterina Khlaponina, 37, are facing charges of conspiracy, money laundering, insurance fraud, theft by deception and attempted theft by deception. Legassov is also charged with misconduct by a corporate official.

Attorney General: Couple Filed Insurance Claims For Phony Spoiled Loads

The couple stands accused of filing at least nine fraudulent insurance claims between 2012 and 2017. The claims were for losses supposedly incurred when refrigerated truck units broke down, spoiling perishable food cargo. According to the indictment, “in reality the cargo was not damaged and/or destroyed and/or did not exist.” The nine filed insurance claims sought a total of $796,500 for the reportedly fake spoiled loads.

One insurance company paid out $509,000 for six of the nine insurance claims. Three of the claims seeking about $288,000 were denied.

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Christopher Iu noted, “Cargo fraud not only increases premiums for honest trucking companies, it drives up the cost of transporting food, forcing shoppers to pay more for groceries.

The couple ran numerous long haul trucking companies based in New Jersey including Akmos Trade Limited, Moon and Eggplant Limited, Passing Score LLC, and G.K. Refrigerated Line, LLC